A lot happens in a day around here.
This morning we gathered under the gazebo for a service of commissioning prior to beginning our work. I thought our collective singing was very enthusiastic until Dr. Mensah announced “Your singing is weak”. That was all it took for the clapping and dancing to begin! Dr. David, a young Ghanaian physician remembered operating on his very first hernia under the instruction of our surgeons years ago. Just before the surgery, the patient told him, “This hernia is older than you are son”. He thanked our surgeons for giving him the courage to repair it. Soale shared an inspiring message from the book of Mark about how beauty and joy come after the storms of life. He challenged us not to ever give up during a storm because the impact of our efforts will be beautiful. Dr. Mensah commissioned our Canadian, UK, German, and Ghanaian team with words from the book of Nehemiah, when Nehemiah challenged the people to rebuild the wall around the city. He explained that ill- health, hernia, glaucoma and infections all represent broken down walls that humiliate and destroy the lives of his people. Our work here is rebuilding walls and he challenged us with Nehemiah’s very words — “let us rise up and build”.
It was very symbolic that our entire group then set off to witness the building of NEA’s Leyaata Hospital. Many of us have been involved in the planning of this model hospital, but today we saw this symbol of hope rising up with our very own eyes. Our physicians stood together in the future emergency room where lives will be saved every day. Linda, Sherry and the pharmacy team stood in the future pharmacy, where life saving medications will be available to all. Mr. Rob, Mr. Magdi and the entire surgical team stood in the future department of surgery, where four operating theatres will be functioning every day of the year. For those of us who have been collectively working with NEA towards the goal of sustainable health care, it was a day we will never ever forget.
And that all happened before our work day even began.
Our medical, dental and eye teams, together with our fleet of translators and volunteers, had the privilege of providing care this afternoon to 400 of NEA staff and their loved ones. And my goodness — I could not believe how efficiently all systems were working for day one. Meanwhile, our surgical team had all operating rooms up and running, listed 69 patients and completed 19 surgeries including one general anaesthetic. Bex was glowing as she provided a report on a spectacular afternoon they had in the theatre.
The volume in the dining hall this evening was so loud that I could barely hear my table mates talking. Enthusiasm and energy are high, knowing that we all have day one under our belts. We concluded our day by Dr. Josh leading us in a time of sharing and silence for Remembrance Day. As we remember the price others paid for our freedom, may we all be challenged to rise and build a world where all men, women and children can grow strong and free.
Dr. Jennifer Wilson, MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP, DIMPH