We met up in Accra and were driven in the Bole Hospital vehicle to Bole on 3 November – about 10 hours journey. We were housed at the Cocoa and Shea Research Institute Guest House for the duration of our stay. We were served breakfast and dinner every day. Lunch was usually provided in theatre. We returned to Accra on 9 November and to our respective homes thereafter.
Work started with team briefing usually about 07.45 and finished with team debriefing at about 18.30-19.00 hours most days. Prior to our arrival, patients were invited through radio broadcasts to register for surgery. We understand that a total of 205 patients turned up during the week. Of these, 101 patients underwent a total of 126 procedures during the five-day working week. The vast majority of the procedures were performed under local anaesthesia, with a few under spinal and five children and one adult lady under GA. The procedures performed were:
EPIDIDYMAL CYST 1
EXCISION OF TUMOUR 1
The local hospital doctor joined Mohan most days and obtained experience in performing some of the procedures.
The theatre team was well motivated, hard-working and very efficient.
The operating light in theatre one was very dim making visibility difficult.
There were two episodes of power outages on the first day with operations being completed with the use of torch lights.
There were no critical incidents.
One patient who underwent repair of bilateral inguinoscrotal hernias under spinal developed scrotal haematoma and was still an inpatient at the end of the mission.
The hospital donated traditional attires to visiting surgeons as sign of appreciation.
Arrange activity to coincide with times when demand for farming is less, for example, November and February. The heavy turnout during this trip might have been due to the diminished demand for farming at this time.
Mission activity should be extended to a period of two weeks to ensure maximum coverage at peak periods. The two week period might be covered by two separate teams if necessary.
Bole District Hospital would appreciate the donation of any medical equipment including a functioning theatre light.
Local doctors in the Northern Region of Ghana could be invited to participate and learn how to repair hernias during missions.