Team of Hope, a medical not-for-profit organization, based in Buluk, in the Upper East performed free surgical services for 105 patients in November, 2019. The lead member, Dr. Benjamin Akinkang, a national hero from the Buluk community has been organizing the benevolent act for the past four years. This latest instalment of the surgeries, one of many, adds to a total of more than 600 beneficiaries of the altruistic-driven surgical outreach.
The November operations (there was one done in the first quarter of 2019) spanned a period of one week; from the 25th of November to the 1st of December, 2019.
The 105 cases seen could be sub-grouped as:
Hernia repair – 49
Hydrocelectomy – 23
Excision (various kinds) – 24
Myomectomy – 5
Hemorrhoidectomy – 4
The team arranged and brought together a great number of medical personnel ranging from medical officers, specialized nurses, surgeons and anesthetists.
Above: a section of the team during surgery
The Buluk community, comprising the Builsa North and Builsa South districts, has an estimated population of over 100, 000 people. The Sandema Hospital is the main health facility which serves the people in the two Builsa districts. It is not uncommon to have a high number of people from some parts of the Northern Region popularly called ‘overseas’ and Kassena Nankana District access the Sandema Hospital as well. This makes the hospital a critical service point with a tremendous amount of health load to bear.
Inauspiciously, the lack of a general surgeon in the district leaves most surgical cases unattended to and emergency cases referred to either Navrongo or Bolgatanga. However, surgical cases within the obstetrics and gynecology armamentarium do not pose the same challenge since the facility now has an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, in the name of Dr. Abraham Titigah, the medical superintendent of the Sandema Hospital.
Meanwhile, anecdotal reports and documented evidence show that the two districts have an astronomical numbers of surgical problems, especially hernias and hydroceles. The hospital has had enormous help from the Christian Mission Resource Foundation and APRIDEC Medical Outreach Group that have offered free surgeries over the past decade, but as it is, more hands would always be needed. Team of Hope, is therefore, strategically and uniquely placed to give more comfort, happiness and health to people suffering these surgical problems.
It is worthy to mention that the team’s ambition and effort – to bring surgical services free of charge to the doorsteps of people has not been smothered into oblivion as it won, and was crowned the winner of the recently held MTN heroes of change awards (Health Category): A clear epitomisation of the team’s impact on the local community and the country at large.
The team leader maintains that he is motivated and poised to continue to help people, especially those from the Builsa land because they are largely responsible for the man he has become today; he sees it as opportunity to give back to them.
Well-wishers, both foreign and local, have predictably demonstrated their support for the teams’ activities through different ways.
To cap this notes, the Team of Hope extends deep gratitude to all supporters, especially the Paramount Chief of Builsa land, Nab Azagsuk Azantilow, MTN Ghana, the MP for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, the medical superintendent, entire staff of Sandema Hospital and all team members. May you continue to be awesome.
Johnny Atibire Nyaaba
RGN, BSc, MSc