Ghana Hub Orchestrates CPD Accredited Workshop on Surgical Site Infections (SSI's)

Ghana Hub collaborates with the Ghana Surgical Research Society, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Ghana Chapter of West Africa to deliver workshop on SSI’s.

The workshop that took place on the 19th August in Kumasi brought together various health workers that included surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and perioperative nurses from across Ghana who took part in the event that utilised results from the completed CHEETAH trial. Also in attendance was the President of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Prof. Samuel Debrah who delivered a keynote speech during the event, in addition to a presentation from Dr. Napoleon Sam of the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery Ghana Hub, on the CHEETAH trial results.

Other presentations that took place during the event included a discussion on the cost of SSI’s in Ghana and a talk on Community Engagement and Involvement activities in the Hub and the role it has in the research cycle. The keynote speech delivered by Prof. Debrah focused on the global burden of surgical diseases and the novel ways of addressing such burdens that could help prevent SSI’s from taking place following surgery, a leading cause of hospital re-admission for patients undergoing surgical treatment worldwide.

Further information on the event can be obtained via the official University for Development Studies press release.

For more information on the Ghana Hub, click here.

Ghana Hub Meet Stakeholders to Develop National Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Prevention Toolkit

Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) event enables local community to work with the Ghana Hub to create a plan for the dissemination of SSI prevention

The meeting, orchestrated by the Ghana Hub took place at Holy Family Hospital in Techiman with the participants in attendance consisting of allied healthcare professionals from the Holy Family Hospital, alongside a well represented group of patients and accompanying members of the public – including patients undergoing treatment for a stoma and laparotomy.

The main objectives of the meeting were to:

  1. Engage patients and community members on what information would be most beneficial to include in the modules being developed
  2. Discuss the output (presentations, visuals) options that would be appropriate in community education
  3. Design a strategy to implement the modules

Discussions proved to be highly conducive for meeting the objectives identified, with various ideas and topics discussed in detail and subsequently taken on board by the Hub to help with the design and delivery of the toolkit. Some of the outcomes from the meeting included:

  1. Participants preference was for education on SSI prevention to start while they are at the admission stage, rather than on the day of discharge
  2. A phone number of a contactable designated doctor in the surgical team was identified as key for patients being referred from distant communities, to discuss any queries relating to treatment
  3. Relevant dates should be added to the modules due to sutures often being removed prematurely or later than expected, due to follow-up dressing not being done by the original surgical team
  4. Information on whether antibiotics and other medications would be given to the patients, in addition to information provided on benefits of the drug given and associated side-effects
  5. Recommended that facility managers address perceptions of patients regarding the rumoured attitude of staff towards patients that led to some delaying in seeking care
  6. General information should be included on how to prevent complications, other than SSIs

During the meeting, patients suggested that educational content could be delivered in the form of visual leaflets, handed over to patients at the point of discharge. Other resources that were decided on were educational videos made for the hospitals delivering care and a picture catalogue on SSI prevention that could be used by healthcare workers to educate patients on the subject during their stay in hospital.

(L to R) Ghana Hub CEI Lead, Dr Ebenezer Amofa discusses SSI prevention with various members of the local community in Techiman

You can find out more information on SSIs by visiting the FALCON and CHEETAH trial pages.

National Institute of Health Research Visit Ghana Hub

Primary funder of the GSU visit Tamale and Accra with key highlights including discussions on the orchestration of the national hub network and key issues faced by the hub team

The UK based NIHR team were given the opportunity to travel to Ghana in May where they visited several locations within the national GSU network to view various operations taking place across both the hub team and wider spoke network. The first point of call took the team to Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) where the Deputy Director of Research (Dr Adam Atiku) was able to discuss how the hospital team were able to work in partnership with the Hub and collaborate with the NIHR in regard to achieving various objectives that benefited patients locally.

Following the hospital visit, the team were taken by Dr. Bellua Sam to the Ghana Hub Data Centre where he provided an overview of the centre’s setup and primary functions. The centre has received and trained other NIHR GSU hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Bellua Sam was able to demonstrate how this aspect of the organisation integrated research work from TTH and formed an integral part of the Department of Medical Research and Innovation at the Medical School. The Department has become a research–support centre for students, staff of the University for Development Studies, and staff of TTH.

For the final leg of the journey, the UK based group flew to Accra where they were able to join high-profile colleagues from the Ghana surgical arena during a roundtable discussion at the British High Commission, where various key issues facing the hub network were discussed as a collective. Colleagues from Ghana included Dr. Ijeoma Aja and Nurse Vera Agyekum-Gyimah from Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua Spoke as well as Dr. Ralph Armah (Spoke Lead) and Nurse Zelda Robertson (Research Nurse) from the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

Ghana Hub Director and GSU Co-Director, Professor Stephen Tabiri presents on the proposed CHEETAH trial dissemination and implementation plan at UDS International Conference Centre, Tamale during the NIHR team’s visit to Ghana

You can find out more on the Ghana Team by clicking here.