The Team of Hope, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based at Sandema in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region is undertaking free surgical operations for patients within and outside the District.
Since the commencement of the week long surgeries on Monday, several patients, numbering over 70 had booked to undergo various types of surgical procedures, while others successfully underwent surgeries and were recovering.
As at the time the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited both the surgical and theatre units of the hospital, patients were in long queues waiting to be attended to, while nurses were busily dressing surgical wounds of others who previously underwent the procedure, and prepared others for the day’s procedure.
In an interview with the GNA, the Founder and Lead Doctor of the Team of Hope, Dr Benjamin Akinkang said the initiative was in adherence to advice his late father, Mr Baba Akinkang gave him while in he was in Medical School.
“My father was a philanthropists and had everybody at heart. I remember sometime ago, he told me that when I finish school, I should not shun my people, but help them in anyway I could. So with that advice in mind, I decided to embark on medical outreach to help people with surgical problems that could be solved,” Dr Akinkang said.
He said the first surgical procedures conducted was in November 2016, where about 150 patients were operated upon, “We realised that people were really benefiting and so we decided to replicate it in 2017, the attendance was so overwhelming.”
The Lead Doctor said the team operated conditions such as hernias, hydroceles, uterine fibroids, lipomas among others, and disclosed that “So far we have been able to touch the lives of about 700 patients from 2016. But for this project, from Monday to yesterday, we have operated about 62 patients.
“We had patients from Volta Region, Greater Accra and across the length and breadth of Ghana, is not just about Sandema, the demand is becoming greater, and we will need more hands like Doctors and nurses,” he said.
Dr Akinkang, who won an award in the health category of the MTN Heroes of Change programme in 2019, said his outfit observed that the surgical needs of residents of the District were high owing to the lack of Surgeons in the District.
He said the surgical team was made of Doctors, Nurses, Anaesthetists and non-clinical health professionals who bought into the idea of giving back to society in the Builsa land.
Apart from the surgical team, the Doctor said the NGO had a medical team that also screened members of the public for hepatitis, diabetes, hypertension, and attended to other medical conditions.
Some patients who spoke to the GNA at the hospital prior to surgery and after expressed gratitude to the team for the gesture and appealed for such operations to solve their health needs.
Mr Paul Azienyan who successfully underwent a hernia operation earlier, and was waiting to be dressed, said “I live in Accra, and when I heard of the operations I travelled from Accra to Sandema to be part. Since I was operated upon on Monday till today, I am relieved now.
“I thank the team for support. I was charged Gh 1,500 for this operation in Accra and I could not raise the money. As I came here, it was done for me for free,” he said.
Madam Charity Ayinsala who was also waiting at the theatre with her five-year-old girl to undergo a surgical procedure told the GNA that “I am very happy for the operation because I could not have afforded the cost. God should bless the Doctors for what they are doing.”