A few days ago, Emily and I went to a nearby town called Nandum to meet with the medical director and conduct a site visit of the hospital. In Ghana, hospitals are run by the medical director, who is in charge of all aspects of the hospital—patient care, ordering supplies, dealing with health insurance reimbursements, paying the staff, etc, etc. In the rural north where doctors are scare, the medical director is often the hospital’s only Ghanaian doctor (many have 1-2 doctors through an exchange program with Cuba). That means that one individual is responsible for overseeing the care of hundreds of patients and doing every surgery and complicated procedure…in addition to all the administrative tasks. The dedication of these doctors is incredible!
At Nandum Hospital, we were shown around by a young medical director named Dr. Wodah. Although he had been in Nandum for less than a year, his strong rapport with patients and ingenuity in dealing with limited resources were already clear. He showed us the playroom in the children’s ward that he had helped to establish, and the children’s malnutrition program that he had set up just weeks before. He introduced us to a small boy playing happily in the corner; he had been the first child treated by Dr. Wodah’s feeding program and had come to the hospital so weak that he had not been able to sit up. Using a combination of vitamins, a local variation on rehydration salts, and high calorie/protein foods, he hoped to collect enough data to prove that his program was working and convince the government to fund the scaling up process.
As we walked from the maternity ward back to the administrative block, we paused for a minute so that the doctor could kill a passing snake with a large stick…truly a man of many talents! As we continued on our way, out stepped…(you will never guess this)…a Bulgarian neurosurgeon. He told us that he moved from Bulgaria to the “Ghanaian bush” eight years ago, armed with his medical tools and an English dictionary. In the ill-lit and poorly resourced operating rooms of Nandum Hospital, he provides lifesaving neurosurgeries—incredible!
Dr. Wodah and his Bulgarian counterpart were enthusiastic about developing a partnership with MedPLUS Connect, and have already developed and submitted their preliminary request list of supplies and equipment. Emily and I are very excited to hopefully ship supplies to Nandum Hospital sometime this year!