Dutch Team, Takoradi

25 JANUARY - 1 FEBRUARY 2010

For the second time a Dutch Hernia Society team spent a week in Sekondi-Takoradi fulfilling activities according to the ĻOperation HerniaĻ terms. This team was proceeded by another Dutch team (M.Simons, F.Garssen and D.Boerma) that might send a separate report about their week (10 - 15 January 2010).

Dutch Group Takoradi - Maarten Simons.
Dutch Group Takoradi - Maarten Simons.

The team consisted of 4 surgeons (G-J. Clevers, R. Schmitz, E-J. Verleisdonk and R.Simmermacher), 2 surgical registrars (M. Blussé van Oud Alblas, A.Schiphorst) and one anesthesist (R.Schapendonk), who were divided in 3 teams that rotated in 3 hospitals that were served (the ¨Hernia-wing¨, GPHA and Dixcove).

In this period 92 patients were treated that received 99 treatments, mostly inguino-scrotal hernias but also hydroceles and one incisional hernia. Most of the days 8 patients were on every list but during the pre-operative ward-round some patients, for different reasons, were cancelled. Working-hours were very acceptable running from around 8.00 am till 4.00 pm, except on Tuesday when there was an important football-match, all Ghanaian wanted to watch, leaving enough time to have a après-work at one of the beach-clubs. Unfortunately registration of the patients outside the wing , due to the great enthusiasm of the Dutch docters, for sure is insufficient which is regretted by everybody and attempts have been done to correct that. The next time the groupsleader will have to take more responsibility on that.

Transportation to and from the hospitals was very well organized and rather speedy. Introduction and service at the hospitals excellent and to the point, guaranteeing smooth working for everybody. The teams brought their own clothes and materials for the operation. Biggest problem appeared to be drapping where there was a lack of material. Dixcove appeared to have the smallest stock.

Dutch Group Takoradi - Frank and Djamila.
Dutch Group Takoradi - Frank and Djamila.

Hernia-wing and GHPA functioned as usual and everybody, from all sides, enjoyed working there. Dixcove, too was a very pleasant place to stay and work. Nurses are very much committed to the task and continued to work as quickly as possible. In the beginning there was no diathermia but that was fixed by one of the surgeons, indicating that the machine standing there can be used.

In all places some teaching of basic cautions to be taken for sterility-reasons to nurses and docters might be useful. Education of the local docters could hardly be executed due to their busy work-scheme. Due to the excellent local support by anaesthesist-nurses the contribution of our own was less than hoped for. However this did not disturb his mood.

Accommodation and in-and out-house support by Kate and her friends was excellent which made the stay very relaxed. Anyway the organization of all activities was excellent and could not be better, thanks predominantly to Bernard.

In summary, therefore, the members of this Dutch team had a very satisfactory week professionally and leisure-wise and very much hope that this was mutual and that their patients will do well.

Roger Simmermacher