A LIMERICK-based medical team have returned from Ghana after a successful three-year healthcare mission.
The 11-strong team from UL Hospitals Group (ULHG) and University of Limerick (UL) also surpassed their initial goal to minimise preventable deaths by providing training in Pre-Hospital Emergency Care skills.
Learning for Lives – Ghana (LfL Ghana), a collaboration between ULHG, UL Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and UL Paramedic Studies in partnership with the national health service of Ghana provided training for healthcare workers in community health facilities and hospitals in the remote upper west region of the African nation.
LfL Ghana has provided 240 people with basic life-saving skills, and delivered specialist instruction in hand hygiene, sepsis, physiotherapy, nutrition and neonatal care, both in the community and to hospital staff.
The team has also created a local training cohort ensuring continuity and sustainability of training and paving the way for a positive transformation of healthcare standards for 1m residents in communities throughout the Upper West.
Noreen Spillane, Chief Operations Officer of ULHG said: “Humanitarian volunteering is a key part of the Group’s strategy, establishing links with the developing world in a sustainable, targeted and meaningful way. The project in Ghana realises this key strategic objective and we are very proud of the team’s achievements to date in Ghana.”
Katie Sheehan, assistant director of nursing at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, who has been with LfL Ghana since its inception, admitted that she was unprepared for how swiftly the local CHPS workers would take charge of the training programme.
“I never thought we would get quite so far, so soon. The eight Super Trainers have made a huge difference. They were delivering programmes and supervising trainees with only minimal input from us. We independently validated their testing, and our marks were identical to theirs,” she explained.
Yvonne Young (ADON & Lead for Sepsis, ULHG), agreed: “As I was observing the training sessions, I was thinking ‘this is happening, this is really working’.
“It shows what can happen when you empower people and give them a chance.”