Well it all started with an unexpected but very pleasant trip to church with Dr Adjelolo – a really charismatic church with wonderful singing and music and a very enthusiastic preacher. It was way fuller than any church in the UK would be and this was the second service of the day! Dr A then took us on a drive round Accra – mainly round the other hospitals! The new out-patient wing at Ridge looks very nice but pales into insignificance compared to the amazing new hospital at Legon, attached to the University. This will be quite something when it opens – I am not sure how it will be staffed but I think (quite rightly) there is a bit of concern that it will be major competition for Korle Bu. Although from what I understand it will not have a Stroke Unit.
On the unit at Korle Bu the brilliant work continues. A busy week with several female admissions and several challenging male patients! The staff delivers the most amazing basic care to these patients and I do hope that this can continue to roll out across the hospital. The staff are continuing to complete their competency log books with at least 8 members of staff having fully completed the required competencies. The multidisciplinary team meeting was great again, with really meaningful discussion involving all the team members. Special praise to the OTs this week who came with some truly insightful information in regards to discharge planning for all the patients. The hoist is back working – even if the switches are all the wrong way round – we now have to press the buttons that open and close the legs of the hoist to make the hoist go up and down, and vice versa! Also a prototype chair raiser arrived this week – just what is wanted and we hope the other seven will follow shortly.
We said goodbye to Dr Nortey who is now on leave for three weeks, but expect Freda back on Monday. Aunty Dorothy is off to Kumansi to assist with nursing exams next week and as it is the end of the month, we will say good bye to the interns and house offices (physios and Drs) that will hopefully all be replaced on Wednesday. We have a hello too with a new dietician – welcome Andy.
Had a wonderful day at Bojo Beach with a few members of the team; an absolutely stunning beach that is accessed by a canoe with an outboard motor – we crossed a lagoon about 50m in width before spending the day chatting, relaxing, enjoying the sun and sea. It was a great way for Eunice to spend her 30th birthday. Church with Cynthia was a different experience to that last week. It was a smaller more local church with only one service, but the music, singing and charismatic preaching were still in abundance – certainly no lack of enthusiasm! Back in for week seven.
Another busy and heavy week on the stroke unit at Korle Bu. We now have 12 functioning chair raisers – so most patients should be able to sit at a comfortable height. This is a minor aside to the major work of the week which the nursing staff completed tirelessly – nursing for some really unwell patients. Unfortunately we lost three patients this week – most of them unacceptably young – but all had had what can only be called massive strokes. I have not seen too many CTs showing that a patient had lost their entire right hemisphere to an infarct.
On a happier note it was good to see Dr Freda back and we welcomed new medical officers David and Sani.
After being let down by a travel company our planned expedition to Mole did not happen so we made do with a trip to Shai Hills Reserve instead, and managed to see Kobs, Baboons, several bird species and some amazing butterflies – a good day out.
Next week is our last week – we will be so sad to leave the unit and the wonderful staff there – but have some amazing memories to take home with us. I hope that we will also be able to keep in touch with the good friends that we have made here and we both hope to visit again in the future.