A plastic reconstructive and breast surgery charity work was organized in the rural part of Ghana which is having a population of over 20 million located in West Africa. A team of consulting plastic surgeon Dr.Shailesh Vododaria and breast surgeon Mr.Sanjay Baldota from the UK, as well as Dr.Santosh Bhatia from Mumbai participated under the behest of Help Smile trust UK (http://helpsmiletrust.co.uk/)
The doctors saw approximately 150 patients who required plastic, reconstructive and breast surgery during their stay in Keta as well as in Akosombo over a period of 10 days. They performed approximately 40 procedures during their stay in these two district general hospitals. The team performed operations on children having congenital hand, upper and lower limb deformities
The team saw advanced staged breast cancer as well as benign lump in the breast in very large numbers. They performed two complete removal of breast and reconstruction usinglocal tissue. They also performed reconstruction of the breast using breast implant as well as breast reduction on the opposite side to achieve the symmetry. The team performed nipple reconstruction following complete removal of breast and associated breast reconstruction.
Observation in regards to the challenges in the rural part of Ghana.
There is a very large number of patients crying for help in reconstructive surgery.However, the structure, leadership and the specialized skill are in the phase of development and need a tremendous help from the developed countries in the form of training, organizingand leadership, to provide plastic reconstructive and breast surgery at a hospital level as well as leadership in organizations of the theaters as well as wards. The local health provider needs better education and training to source the basic equipment and the disposable material to continue provide services for plastic and reconstructive and breast surgery. The organizations such as Motec and Help Smile Trust from the United Kingdom and specialists can contribute a lot to provide service, to create awareness at a government level within Ghana to improve the health services for the betterment of the children born with inborn deformities as well as to deal with breast diseases including breast cancer. This will also require training and the tremendous amount of hand holdingexercises till they become independent to shoulder such enormous responsibilities themselves.
The team of doctors would also like to thank Dr Himanshu Mehta, (consultant ophthalmologist, Mumbai, India) for donating instruments for this project and the Clementine Churchill Hospital (BMI group of hospital, UK) for their support.