Matthew Deere, MD
Matthew Deere, MD
Resident Physician · Lansing, MI

Surgical Mission to Winneba Ghana

November 2nd
Winneba, Ghana

Project Description

We will travel to Winneba Ghana on the coast of West Africa and will work at the Sankor Baptist Hospital for 2 weeks. We are traveling with a team of one attending surgeon, two surgical residents, Scrub Techs, Nurses and anesthesia staff. During the two weeks hope to complete 50-60 procedures including large hernia repairs, thyroidectomies, hysterectomies and other general surgery procedures. The only time procedures are performed at this hospital are with surgical missions with the exception of c sections and some hernia repairs.

Population Served

The Coast for Christ Ministries serves the rural community of Winneba Ghana and the surrounding area. The only surgical care in this area occurs with Surgical missions in this area. We will work out of the hospital there however will transport all of our instruments and supplies.

Expected Impact

We hope to complete between 50 and 60 procedures while there. I hope this is a springboard for other medical missions in my career. We also plan to complete a safe drinking water project this year. The goal is to obtain home water filters for 400 families in the area.

Trip Photos & Recap

Though the majority, about 85 percent, of Ghanaians are on the national health care system the lack of subspecialist makes surgical care difficult; specifically in outlying regions where transportation is difficult. Prior to our arrival a team of 2 Physician’s Assistants and the Medical Officer of the hospital Screened over 100 patients who were candidates for surgery. All patients presented to clinic the day of our arrival for assessment and screening. Because of the lack of easily accessible care and remoteness the pathology that is seen though similar in nature is much exaggerated because problems are left to fester for a significantly longer period of time.

Out team of 10 traveled to the coastal region of Ghana and over the course of 9 days completed 68 procedures including thyroidectomy, partial colectomy, hysterectomy, herniorraphy, lumpectomy, mastectomy and small mass removals. These cases included 2 emergent surgeries that came in through the emergency department. During our time the medical officer of the hospital also scrubbed in for some cases to learn hernia repair and mass removal techniques. Patients traveled as far as 6 hours to be treated and would often stay the night before surgery in the hospital to ensure they could arrive.

We also brought 250 water filters with us and traveled to villages in the area to distribute them. Each filter provides a family with a lifetime of clean water. The filters can be flushed in reverse in order to clean them and continue to reuse them.