Medical Professionals Make a Difference in Ghana

Medical Professionals Make a Difference in Ghana

News Release

Hundred of lives are changed through humanitarian efforts

More than 650 Ghanaians received needed medical care because of the partnership of Ghana Make a Difference, Ghana Health Service, GRAFT Foundation, CAF & LDS World Travel Humanitarian Expeditions and LDS Charities – the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

Patients from Ghana with critical need were served by 42 medical professionals from the United States who donated their time and expertise to complete surgical, medical and dental procedures. The surgical teams also collaborated with Ghana medical professionals by providing training and encouragement as they worked side by side in local operating theaters.

Medical specialists in the areas of orthopedics, podiatry, plastic surgery, dentistry, urology, ophthalmology, and anesthesiology spent five days at Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital. The teams completed 300 dental procedures, 300 optometric procedures and more than 50 major surgeries.

Eyesight was evaluated, cataracts removed, lens installed, glasses provided and other procedures performed—all to improve or restore vision.

Dental work included tooth extractions, fillings and other procedures. Patients were given kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste and other items to assist with the care of their teeth.

More than 50 patients requiring orthopedic, podiatry, plastic surgery or urology procedures were screened and prepared for surgery. Surgical suites were busy from sunrise until 2:00 a.m. each of the five days the teams were operating.

Follow-up kits were provided to patients for their continued care at home. The kits containing bandages, antiseptics, sponges, bed sheets and other items needed for post-operative care, had been prepared by Latter-day Saints in the United States. Along with the kits, suppliers donated surgical equipment used in the operating rooms at the hospital in Winneba.

On March 7, 2017, prior to another busy day of surgical procedures, volunteers assembled for an early morning devotional meeting at Ghana Make a Difference, a care facility near Winneba.  Doug Maughan, an organizer of the event, told the volunteers, “You are a beautiful sight. Humanitarian work is the work of God. The Savior is aware that you are here in Ghana doing this work.”

Elder Terence Vinson, President of the Africa West Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed the group. “You are an exceptional group of people,” he said. “You have given your time and your means to come to Ghana. God is aware of your selfless service. When we truly love God, we gain the qualities that He has.”

“The beauty of West Africa will capture your heart,” Elder Vinson continued. “You can’t be here and not love the people.”

The physicians from Ghana who worked alongside the U.S. doctors will provide follow-up care for the patients. The U.S. doctors will return in May to follow up with local physicians and surgical patients. 

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