RESTORE Ghana 2017 Blog: Day 2 – “Together, We Go Far”
-By Eleanor Hartley
The African sun has scarcely risen, the ground still glistening with morning dew. It’s 5.30am and the RESTORE team awakens for the second day of work at the First Care Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. The surgical team prepares themselves for the challenges that lie ahead; 14 intricate procedures ranging from complex skin grafts to breast reconstructions.
Even at this early hour the hospital waiting room brims with new patients still waiting to be screened. Some have travelled three days from towns and villages across the country, some have slept outside the steps of the hospital desperate to be seen by the RESTORE team, something they may never have the chance to do if it were not for the work of Dr Michael K. Obeng and his RESTORE team.
The Ghanaian National Health Insurance System is still in its infancy and despite the government’s efforts to provide affordable healthcare for its citizens, the system struggles to support the elaborate healthcare needs of many of its most vulnerable people. This struggle makes the patience and gratitude of the people we meet only more endearing as they wait humbly in the humid 90 degree climate.
Making the most of the limited facilities and equipment, the surgical team commenced their work, rebuilding the ear of a 9 year old boy with severe facial burns using intricate grafting techniques. A challenging day of surgeries ensued, reaping blood, sweat and tears, but most importantly success, as 14 men, women and children had their lives RESTORE’d at the hands of the the RESTORE doctors; Dr. Michael K. Obeng, Dr. Mehmet Atila, Dr. Robert Schlenker, Dr. Michael McClean, Dr. Paa Ekow Hoyte-Williams, Dr. B. John Freeman and Dr. Carla West-Coffee.
Integrating with the First Care Hospital personnel, the RESTORE team united their individual skillsets to form a strong support team for one another and the patients. Though the expert talent of these world class surgeons underpins the success of the RESTORE foundation, it is only with the collaborative effort of the nurses and volunteers that we can achieve our goals and sustain the well-being of the patients we treat on our mission.
It is with compassion and conviction that we educate and empower this community to engage and take responsibility for their own health and well-being. Encouraging self care, hygiene and public health empowers communities to safeguard their own health and will minimise the number of avoidable accidents and complications that so many of our patients fall victim to. Over the following few days alongside the further screenings and over 60 challenging surgeries, we plan to deliver health education initiatives aimed to empower young people and their families. It is only with the right support and education that change will ensue for the future of Ghana, the RESTORE team pledges to champion health education and incite a strong, empowered and health-proud society.
“A healthy nation is a wealthy nation”- Dr. Michael K. Obeng
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” – Maimonides
Help us to help Ghana by donating to the RESTORE foundation and supporting the incredible work of the team. It is only with collaborative charity and monetary support that we are able to RESTORE lives and bring about change for the future of this wonderful country and its people.
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RESTORE is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.