International Surgical Health Initiative(ISHI) a United States based Volunteer surgical group is providing free surgical operations to 50 Ghanaians at the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in Mampong-Akwapim in the Eastern Region.
The group which is in Ghana in the third year running had previously undertaken similar surgeries in Ghana in 2013 and 2014 and other countries such as Sierra Leone, Haiti, Peru, Philippines and Guatemala.
Dr Ziad Sifri, Co-Founder and President of the Initiative who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Mampong Akwapim said the surgeries were in areas of general surgery, hernia, spinal problems, hydro cells and general anesthesia.
He said: “Our objective is to provide free surgical care to undeserved countries , the world and regions devastated by natural disasters.”
Dr Ziad said while all participants of the initiative were volunteers and maintains extremely low operating expenses that allow underprivileged people to receive medical care, their main mission was also to alleviate suffering due to untreated surgical diseases and to return them to productive lives.
The President of the Initiative said in view of the great numbers they received on arrival, they had to carry out a preliminary screening exercise to select the more serious 50 cases.
Dr Ziad commended the staff and Management team of the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital for their support that had enabled them to undertake their programme successfully in Ghana.
He said healthcare to the underprivileged in society could bridge the gap between the rich and the poor hence their formation and penetration into other countries apart from the US.
Dr Mawuli Gyakobo, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital said the introduction of the programme into his facility was not only providing medical support to underprivileged people in the country, but was also transferring knowledge to some of the resident doctors.
He said the hospital was also benefiting from the medical supplies and anaesthesia equipment that were installed for the surgeries.
Dr Gyakobo expressed the hope that in future the programme would be expanded to cover many more suffering patients in the community and beyond.
Madam Nellie Kemevor, Coordinator of the programme said she had to seek the support of the group in the US because of the inadequate medical care the underprivileged people in the country were exposed to.
She called for the recapitalisation and renovation of many health facilities especially those in the rural areas of the countries since they had no alternative means of health care like their counterparts in the cities and other urban centres.
Madam Kemevor said her passion for good health had over the years compelled her to cater for the health needs of many children in the country and beyond.
“I have over the years donated some medical equipment to some major health facilities in the country as my own small way of supporting to alleviate the suffering of the poor people in the country.”
She called on the government to allocate a substantial amount of money to the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital to immortalise the man who brought cocoa to Ghana. GNA