Here is Dr Nayana Parange’s account of her first day at the Maternal and Child Health Hospital carrying out the hands-on training:
Today was the first day of intensive hands-on training. Dr Annie Opoku, one of the trainee doctors and Medical Officer of the at Maternal and Child Health Hospital (MCHH), picked Prof Ann Tabor, Manna and me up from the hotel early, around 8:15 a.m. We reached MCHH around 9:00 a.m., after taking a detour through the city, amidst heavy traffic. We also stopped on the way to admire and photograph a beautiful mango tree with at least 200 mangoes hanging from its branches.
At our arrival, we were warmly greeted by enthusiastic trainees and friendly hospital staff. We were very impressed by the organisational skills of Dr Annie and Yusif the sonographer, who had booked patients and set up the clinic in such a way that it flowed smoothly from one patient to another.
Dinah and Cecilia, two midwives also working with HIV counselling and in the labour ward respectively, also took part in the training.
Ann and I took turns with the hands-on supervision, and we developed our own system, where each of stayed with one student and one patient from start to finish – from entering patient details into the machine to history taking, scanning, and writing up the report and the logbooks.
We worked on an Acuson machine, kindly donated by Siemens, and we got a variety of Obs and Gyne cases, which included myomas, polycystic ovaries and IUGR. We ended up scanning 20 patients in our clinic.
On the way back, Annie drove us through the city to buy souvenirs. Annie helped with the bargaining and I a bough a painting of a beautiful Ghanaian lady with her baby tied around her back. Then it was time for the team to regroup and discuss and reflect on the day’s events. We swapped stories from the different centres over a meal, and strategies on how to improve our own performance were also discussed.
All of us were pleasantly tired, as we felt we had accomplished something, and it was a good feeling to know that we had contributed in a small way, which might make a difference in the lives of people in Kumasi, who are so beautiful, friendly, hospitable, warm and always smiling!