Monthly Archives: November 2015

Empowerment – final day of Ghana program

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Trainee Abekah Adams Jonah of Old Tafo Hospital visibly proud on his new scanning capabilities  (Image courtesy of Gesu Antonio Baez for ISUOG Outreach)

All good things come to an end, as they say. After a compelling five days conducting the Outreach program in Kumasi, it came to conclusion on Friday, 20 November.

There could be only one word to summarise the final day – empowerment. And surely the trainees finally felt empowered as they began to operate and scan the machines by themselves (under the watchful eye of their trainers, of course). Most precious of all were their smiles when they scanned on the donated GE Healthcare Voluson machines and began to understand the images they were scanning, while their trainers exuded pride from their faces in the backround.

The program wrapped up with a closing ceremony at the Regional Conference Admin Centre in Central Kumasi, featuring closing talks from Outreach Chair Dr. Anthony Johnson, the partnering NGO’s Executive Director Mrs. Abenaa Boateng of Women’s Health to Wealth (WHW) and addresses made by the Regional Director of Health Services for the Ashanti Region and the Director of Kumasi Metro Area. The address emphasised the importance of the training to local women and the Regional Director reminded the trainees that their primary mission was to serve the women of Ghana; a mission they should always remember in their practice.

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Women’s Health to Wealth Executive Director Abenaa Boateng giving closing remarks besides the Director of Kumasi Metro and the Regional Director of Health Services in the Ashanti Region. (Image courtesy of Gesu Antonio Baez for ISUOG Outreach)

Certificates of achievements were awarded to each participant, distributed by ISUOG’s International Development Officer Gesù Antonio Báez and the Regional Director. The ceremony proved to be emotional towards the end as several trainees expressed their gratitude for what they learned and the difference it made in their practice. “You taught us to expect more of ourselves and go beyond” said trainee Alberta Nintang of Kumasi South Regional Hospital.

But this isn’t the last that the trainees will hear from their trainers. Following the program, the trainees will continue to keep in touch with their trainers via WhatsApp, a popular mobile text messaging app, which will allow them to share scanned images from across the globe and receive constant support and feedback on the quality of their scanning from their mentors in the weeks to follow.

“We’ve given you the tools,” said Dr. Johnson in his closing speech, “it’s on you to use them.”

 

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Dr. Anthony Johnson giving the closing address (Image courtesy of Gesu Antonio Baez for ISUOG Outreach)

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Day 4: Putting theory into practice at South Kumasi Hospital

Outreach continues for its 4th day of training in Kumasi, Ghana. Today, we’re following the group to South Kumasi Hospital where an exceptionally large amount of gynecology cases were presented today – which came in handy as the group has just learned tips and tricks for conducting a transvaginal scan! Local ISUOG Trainer Buah Hamilton showed, the benefits for identifying both gynecological and obstetrical issues were numerous.Ghana4

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Guided by both ISUOG trainer Buah Hamilton and GE Healthcare’s Tammy Anderson, the group identified cyst growths in patients and a peculiar case of an infantile uterus in a 15-year-old patient, resulting in discussion amongst the group on what the follow up and next procedure should be.Ghana3

There was also a “lunch lecture” by Buah Hamilton over scanning the Gyne patient which helped put a lot of the hands on training into focus theoretically.

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The trainees have been demonstrating so much enthusiasm and really putting their newly acquired skill into practice. With tomorrow being the last day, it will be impressive to see what they’ve learned throughout the week and get a feel on how they plan to hone their skills in going forward.

Day 3: “I want to keep this up,” said trainee Evelyn Britum

It’s day 3 of ISUOG Outreach in Kumasi, Ghana and today we’re following the trainers in Suntreso Government Hospital. ISUOG Trainer Yusif Yacub began by covering tips for conducting a transvaginal scan and a review of scanning the second trimester patient.

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The students were eager to get their hands on the machine, so GE Healthcare’s Tammy Anderson helped guide them on how to use the newly donated Voluson E I.

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It was indeed an emotional day, handling patients who has not had an ultrasound scan before and the smiles on the overjoyed mothers seeing their babies for the first time on the machine only motivated the trainees to learn more and continued scanning.

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“It was beautiful,” said trainee Evelyn Britum, her eyes widening and gleaming with excitement from the reaction to the mother’s face to the image, “I want to keep this up.”

And keep up they will! Stay tuned we continue our program in Ghana!

#LoveUltrasound

ISUOG Outreach in Ghana: Kicking off day two!

Each of the trainees spread out to different regional hospitals this time to take a group of 8 trainees with them for hands-on work.Ghana4

Today, we’ll be focusing on Old Tafo Hospital located in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Kumasi. Droves of patients waited for the ISUOG team near the manicured courtyard of the hospital, dressed in their colorful garments that reflected the tradition of the Ashanti region. The trainees were as excited as Janet Horenstein and Tammy Anderson and guided the group on using the new GE Voluson P8 machine, which was donated to the hospital. “These trainees are both enthusiastic and passionate about scanning and making a difference in the lives of women,” says Gesù Antonio Báez, ISUOG’s International Development Officer who’s reporting from Kumasi. “It’s inspirational and promising for the future”.Ghana7

The training session also helped reveal a heart defect in a 3rd trimester patient, prompting the trainees to take action in advising an emergency C-Section and careful monitoring once the baby is born.

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“I’m loving this new machine,” says Adams Abekah who is based in Old Tafo, “but I’m excited to learn more and [perfect the techniques.] That is my dream.”

Stay tuned as we visit the trainees in the other hospitals in the Kumasi Metro region!

Day One – Return to Ghana!

And we’re up and running! ISUOG kicked off the first part of Phase II of our Outreach program in Kumasi, Ghana. The day started strong with Project Leader  and Outreach Committee Chair Anthony Johnson (USA) introducing the Outreach Volunteers to the 25 trainees at Kumasi South Hospital.

This time round, 15 of the trainees were basic with no previous ultrasound experience while 10 were advanced, having previously participated in the last program.

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If there was a key word for the program this time, it would be empowerment. Two of our strongest trainees from our last trip – Yusif Yacub and Buah Hamilton – are joining the ISUOG team and are teaching the trainees themselves, tackling topics such as ectopic pregnancy and second trimester scanning. It must be said, Yusif stole the show with his charismatic presentation skills and stories from the scanning room.Ghana15

GE Healthcare’s Tammy Anderson explained to the group how to use the new machines – three brand new beautiful voluson ultrasound machines – which was the cause of much excitement once the group to the chance to scan during the first live scan session, led by Tammy and Janet Horenstein (USA). It was a really special moment too as one of the patients being scanned had not had an ultrasound until that day and was overjoyed by the image of her unborn son.

Ghana17Theodora Pepera-Hibbert (Ghana/UK) focused her talks on using ultrasound for Gynecology cases and, despite the projector breaking down half way through during her presentation, her passion for scanning radiated in her engagement with the group and helpful insight on proper scanning practices, such as speaking to the patient and communicating with her about the procedure.

Day one was rewarding and jam packed, but only a taster of how the rest of the week will be – stay tuned!