Ghana Blog: Ingenuity in the Face of Limitations

July 15th, 2018 Contact: Alex Anderson  |  706-542-7614  | More about Alex

My experience at Princess Marie Louis Children’s Hospital was eye-opening as well as inspiring. The people I shadowed were able to use the few resources they had to make the best replicas of materials that are provided when money is not a problem. The two most obvious places that worked well with limited resources was the Emergency room and the Physical Therapy room. These two places were each one room, which was crazy since these would be two of the largest places for other hospitals in the United States. In the Emergency room, a patient would arrive and depending on how pressing the case was would be sent to find the veins in the child’s hand (since the veins in the arm are very difficult to find). Sometimes there would be multiple children on the same bed being treated, since they had more children coming to be treated than patient beds. There was one case specifically, that I was blown away with. It was a child whose name was Yam.

Yam was a seven-month old child who was suffering from sepsis and severe seizures, as well as an unknown infection. This child was immediately put in the top priority and rushed to the open bed to be checked. Everyone flowed so well into this crazy transition and without stopping care of others they were able to treat Yam. The most impactful thing I saw was how they used their own imaginations and knowledge to treat Yam. They created their own CPAP machine through a water bottle and a tube. Their lack of resources did have an effect on treating his infection, but everything else they were able to makeshift and completely treat as well as if they had the equipment for it. This was so impressive to see and also made me wonder if the type of care they gave was better than a doctor relying on machines.

The Physical Therapy ward was just as innovative. This ward was also a single room with only a few resources to their disposal: matts, a walker, a ballet pole, some toys, and wooden stools. That was it. The physicians were so knowledgeable about the human body and how to stretch it that they didn’t need all the machines. Overall, it was such an eye-opening experience to see how much people can achieve with so little. 

Madeleine Williams #GHANA2018

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