German Team from Cologne
We went with two teams this year to Ghana and as you can expect for a German team during the soccer world championship. It was our first trip to Africa and we were very excited.
In order to raise money for the whole crew we organized two charity concerts. We were lucky to get a world class pianist like Mrs. Sheila Arnold, who was born in India and supported us right away. The biggest amount of money was spent from the Rotary Club of Cologne. With further help of the industry we were able to pack 7 big boxes full of medical equipment.
We landed in Accra and were afraid to get problems at the border control as our anesthetist has brought a lot of medical-opiates with him. But as Chris Oppong had told us - there will be no problem when a sticker with Operation Hernia is on the boxes and he was right.
The trip to the Baptist Hospital was excellent organized by Jimmy . We decided to drive to Nalerigu by car. Whereas the south seems to be very developed, we were very astonished when we saw the first clay huts in the North. The area was very rural and luckily there where none of the annoying ads of the telephone companies like in the south. The people where very colorfully dressed in their traditional cloth.
We had a warm welcome by Greg and his wife Wendy, who made our stay in Nalerigu very comfortable. We stayed in 2 very well equipped houses with hot shower, kitchen and air conditioning in a park area belonging to the hospital. We could watch the soccer games in the evening on TV and had WIFI with internet access in a school nearby.
The hospital crew was wonderful and very professional. The hygienic standard in the hospital was acceptable but not comparable to Takoradi. Fot instance one nurse in Nalerigu always tried to keep flies away from the open wounds during the operation. Nevertheless we had no wound infections. We think this was due to the fact that we decided not to implant mesh on a regular basis.
The two teams performed 137 operations in 2 weeks. The operations where sometimes very challenging. Most of the Operations in Nalerigu were performed in spinal anesthesia and local anesthesia. The children got Ketamine, as there was no oxygen. We took part also in emergency operations like cesarean sections or operated a small bowel perforation of a child with typhoid.
It was a wonderful and most impressing experience for all team members. Not only that we met people who do excellent work under really difficult conditions, this humanitarian mission was really life changing for all of us.
Team 1: Karl Moser, Markus Heiss, Andres Kremer, Philip Metz, Marion Koell
Team 2: Karl Moser, Jürgen Meyer, Rainer Müller, Silke Simanowsky, Sadiye Öner, Marion Koell