Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Sobering Day

Our day started on a somber note. As we approached the hospital for our first day of observation and integration into the staff of Tema General Hospital (TGH), an ambulance passed us and pulled up in front of the receiving area of the outpatient department. Since one of our focuses of this mission is to evaluate disaster response and emergency preparedness within the hospital, we stopped and introduced ourselves to the emergency technician that was cleaning and restocking the ambulance.

We had an interesting, informative discussion comparing our two countries’ disaster response and multi-casualty incident command system. Although Ghana is many years behind the U.S. in training and use of sophisticated equipment, they are striving to meet our standards of technology and education. This was a collaborative exchange with a meld of local pre-hospital providers, and our Project HOPE/Navy team.

The patient that was transported to TGH was a 10-day-old baby transferred from another facility. The baby was born prematurely at 32 weeks gestation. The EMTs escorted us to the consultation area where we observed the treatment and care of the baby. The parents waited quietly and patiently on a hard wooden bench outside the area. The baby was tiny, jaundiced, and fighting for life. The physician and nurses were quiet, solemn and calm in their approach. The baby succumbed after a few hours.

It was a sobering sight. Life is hard and cruel here in Ghana. Death often comes early and is not unexpected. Resources are limited. Yet, the people are strong and resilient and our mission could not be more clear. Our role here is to help build emergency room capacity at the facility, to make a real difference and assist in bettering these kinds of outcomes.

Thanks for reading-Marley and Elise

1 comment:

  1. Nice Post,

    Thanks for sharing your whole day experience, It sounds that your day is very busy & hardworking day for you & your staff.

    James is a student of Canadian college