Obianuju Eziolisa, DO
Obianuju Eziolisa, DO
Emergency Medicine · Houston, TX

Global Ultrasound Ghana; Training the trainer

February 22nd
Accra, Ghana

Project Description

While on this trip to Ghana, we will be working with several hospitals including 37 Military hospital in the capital, Accra, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and Nyaho Medical Center. Our focus is on training local physicians by introducing to a bedside tool that can often be the difference in their clinical practice- an ultrasound. Our singular goal is to empower these local physicians to become strong leaders within their specialty, their community, and ideally, to become leaders within the changing landscape and globalization of ultrasound. This ongoing project makes a difference, as unlike in the United States, in most medical facilities in Ghana, an ultrasound is often the only diagnostic tool, if available, and we want to encourage self-motivated learning within this modality for our colleagues practicing in the resource-limited setting.

Population Served

The population served are in-training or attending emergency medicine physicians, radiologists, surgeons and/or other specialty physicians with interest in bedside ultrasound.
As mentioned, Ghana, similar to most of the African continent, have not experienced the level of economic and technological growth as we've been fortunate to have been blessed with- directly related to the oppression of these societies centuries ago. I am especially connected to this region as I was born and raised in the neighboring country of Nigeria, and although initially shielded from reality as a child, upon returning to visit, I had been taken aback at the dichotomy of the privilege of simply being born in a different location. I chose medicine with a dream of making a difference and am so fortunate to have been able to make successful strides towards this dream- doing what I can to make certain that health access remains not a privilege for the few simply based on your birth location, but a right for all. Lastly, in this and in subsequent missions to Ghana, I hope to impact the Ghanaian health system both directly and indirectly by better equipping their health care providers with the tools and knowledge they need to optimally care for their fellow citizens.

Expected Impact

My mission centers on best methods of effective, actionable, and sustainable efforts, as endorsed by many global medicine advocates. To this end, I ultimately focus on training the trainer. I am also partnering with domestic companies with symbiotic mission and wider global footprint, and through this partnership, I hope to go one step further and create an opportunity to sponsor machine provision to smaller local hospitals with limited governmental support. By training and mentoring physicians who are passionate about ultrasound, the learning continues when my team departs, improving the time to diagnostics and overall medical care provided in those settings.

Trip Photos & Recap

Train the trainer encompasses our mission while working in Ghana hospitals, to train local physicians in techniques and exams that can elevate their bedside and overall care for their patients.
Our focus is on the long lasting impact of empowering physicians under training as well as supervising physicians. Our group spent several days at 3 different hospitals, 33 Military hospital, University of Ghana Medical center (UGMC) and Korle-Bu Teaching hospital, all pioneering training facilities for the countries emerging medical leaders. While there, we worked with an interdisciplinary group that includes established and aspiring generalists, radiologists, oncologists, intensivists and emergency physicians. We provided didactic, flipped classroom and hands-on ultrasound training on a wide range of topics including soft tissue, abdominal exams, basic and advanced echocardiogram, amongst many others. Members of our team had also developed a novel nightly mobile EMS system that focuses on providing urgent assessment and interventions to young children in some of the area slums. During our medical mission, we provided direct outreach to these communities to remind them of resources available to them- with one phone call, your febrile child or vomiting and dehydrated child can be assessed by medical professionals, with treatment rendered immediately or direction to closest hospital if higher level of care deemed necessary.
Throughout our direct outreach and long-term relationships with the different hospital systems in Accra, we’re able to completely engage the learner through all learning cycles- by first performing a needs assessments of the patient population and resources, assessing learners’ level of competence, then initiating training the builds and expands on the foundation of knowledge.
It’s been a great experience and a privilege to work with the Ghana physicians in building on their ultrasound knowledge, and I to look forward to continuing the work with our innovative group of learners.