Doctors in The Gap
The launch was well attended with the following overarching themes:
– African solutions to African issues
– Volunteerism as a contribution to socio-economic transformation
– Community health
– Clear sense of purpose and engagement
Mission to the Dwarf Island
– More than 120 medical and non-medical volunteers with different skills to serve over 37,500 people in 103 communities
– Alleviate health pressure on population with limited means
– Continue to build the largest volunteer base in Africa starting in Ghana.
Doctors in The Gap
THE WORLD WE SEE
ARII through the Doctors in the Gap Volunteer Programme envisions a world in which quality health care is accessible to all irrespective of background, race, sex and other characteristics unrelated to the worth of the individual.
The Initiative has since registered over 500 Medical Doctors, health experts and other non-medical professionals across the globe (USA, China, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Ghana, Canada, France and many more) whose services are voluntary and undertake medical missions to the most disadvantaged communities in Ghana and across the continent.
Guided by our mandate of promoting human dignity, the Doctors in the Gap initiative is a joint partnership approach to bridge the healthcare gap in Ghana and across the African continent. Our aim is to complement the efforts of governments, medical institutions, communities and single individuals in achieving the expected success in the healthcare delivery.
Section of Management of the Ecobank Foundation and ARII on Tuesday 19th July, 2016 paid an official working visit to the leadership of the ICU at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra. The meeting was a follow-up to our already existing partnership between the group and the ICU. The essence of the meeting was to discuss further, critical matters bordering on effective delivery of critical care, observe ongoing partnership projects and encourage medical staff on their peerless service to society. The meeting was also to offer the Leadership of the Ecobank Foundation the first-hand knowledge and experience about the magnitude of the on-going partnership work at the ICU with ARII.
With currently 2,000 beds and 17 clinical and diagnostic Departments/Units capacity and an average yearly attendance of 547, 500, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has the largest ICU in the West Africa Sub-Region and the only one in Ghana which serves people around the West Africa Sub-Region, but the demands on this unit are greater than their capacity to deliver though the Unit can boast of some of the best critical care specialists in the world.
ARII is working with the Ecobank Foundation, Agape Samaritan International, USA and other development partners to champion the advancement of critical care in the West African Sub-Region through the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The group is working to provide adequate office facilities for the medical staff at the ICU and this include; the creation and furnishing of a waiting area for relatives of patients, living area with a mini conference and rest room for Doctors and Nurses, a breaking newsroom and an office for the in-charge.
The group is also working to establish The Central ICU Fund, meant to be the largest single fund to fundraise and build strong support for critical care for the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. This will later advance to other tertiary institutions in Ghana and use the experience as a best learning platform for Africa, especially, Sub of the Sahara. The Fund which will be an independent, non-profit establishment relies on the benevolence of donors, especially the corporate world to realise its aims.
Among other things the fund will also;
- Provide support for the training of critical care nurses and specialists who are in high demands.
- Provide further incentives and supports to critical officers to strengthen their commitment to saving lives on time.
- Enable the unit to provide support for patients who cannot afford intensive care and emergency health services.
- Help sustain the supply of consumables at the intensive care unit and ensure adequate maintenance of equipment needed to deliver emergency health services at the health facility.
- Seek long term partners in expanding access to quality critical care in Ghana and West Africa.
According to Mrs. Patricia Sappor, Head of Communications & PR, Ecobank Ghana/WAMZ there is the need for corporate Ghana to act together on the issues that affect our common humanity like the ICU. She also underscored Ecobank’s ever willing commitment to working with the partners to addressing the missing Gap. She thanked the leadership of the ICU for their dedication and commitment in ensuring that the people who need their support in crucial moments have a place to turn to for the support they need so desperately.
Prof. Ernest Aniteye, Head of Department of Anaesthesia of University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry/Head of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, National Cardiothoracic Centre, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, talked about his team’s vision of transforming the ICU into a world class service centre but he believes that calls for the collective action of society to complement government’s efforts. He was very happy about the relation with ARII and its partners and was very positive that with the setting up of the independent Central ICU Fund the expected success is certain. He also thanked the Ecobank Foundation Leadership for their interest in the work of ICU.
Dr. Chris Owoo, a Consultant Anaesthetist in charge of the ICU in taking the team through the operations of the Unit stressed on the significant contributions that the ICU plays in the entire operation of the Korle Teaching Hospital. He said a better and well-resourced ICU means that all departments of the Hospital, especially surgical, Obstetrics and Gynaecology would have much confidence in saving thousands of lives. The current annual patient attendance of the Unit is around 1, 060. This number is likely to double or triple when all the sections of the unit are in full operation. With the patient survival rate of over 80%, Dr. Owoo believes that any sustainable and well-coordinated efforts from the corporate world as as being worked on by the ARII and its development partners would boost his team’s confidence.
On his part, Mr. Prince Oduro Williams, ARII Founder/Executive Director thanked the Management of Ecobank Foundation for taken time out of their busy schedules to visit the ICU. He said change is people when we are willing to act together.
The ARII Coordinated Central ICU Fund will not only coordinate world-class critical treatment , but also carries out high level medical training both locally and internationally for critical care professionals, and conducts ground-breaking research into critical care which has global influence.
A fundamental function the Central ICU Fund would be to influence qualitatively, government policies, corporate and public decisions through its annual Ghana National Dialogue on critical care to be called the “National Consultative Forum on Critical Care in West Africa”. The National Consultative Forum on Critical Care in West Africa (NCFCC) will coordinate efforts through well researched policy recommendations and consensus building to government and to sustain and increase qualitatively governments’ investment in critical care in West African Sub-Region. After three years of operation, the forum would then move involve stakeholders beyond the borders of Ghana and would then be called the “West Africa Consultative Forum on Critical Care”
The National Consultative Forum on Critical Care in West Africa (NCFCC) will coordinate efforts through well researched policy recommendations to governments, especially in the West African Sub-Region, to sustain and increase qualitatively governments’ and corporate investments in critical care in West Africa.
Among other things the Forum will look at issues concerning;
- Accessibility to critical care
- Facility sustainability and expansion
- Critical Care Providers; Training, Capacity Building, Incentives
- Private Sector Participation-a means to complement but not to replace government’s efforts.
- Government Sacred Role and Responsibility
- Future of Critical Care in West Africa
- Among others
The forum would be led by a Technical Committee of the Fund. The technical committee would be led by Prof. Ernest Aniteye (Head of Department of Anaesthesia of University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry/Head of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, National Cardiothoracic Centre, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Accra).
Developing countries around the world are facing a critical shortage of health workers. The World Health Organization estimates that over 4 million more health workers are needed to bridge the gap, with 1.5 million needed for Africa alone. In addition to the lack of personnel, existing health staffs are often in need of training and stronger management systems.