Ghana: 30 doctors trained in cleft surgery

Kumasi – Thirty medical professionals have been specially trained to provide free cleft surgery and other forms of essential cleft care in the country, under the auspices of Smile Train, a global surgical charity of the slot.

Healthcare professionals, selected from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, in batches of six, were offered a range of clinical training in surgery, anaesthesia, nursing nursing and other comprehensive cleft care.

The final batch, consisting of pediatricians and anesthesiologists, was followed by Basic Life Suport/Pediatric Advanced Life Suport (BLS/PALS) for children.

Smile Train is the largest cleft-focused organization that provides training, funding and resources to enable local healthcare professionals in 70 countries including Ghana to provide free cleft surgery and other forms of essential cleft care in their communities.

Speaking at the opening of the training, Ms Nkeiruka Obi, African representative of Smile Train, said the organization will continue to ensure that surgeons and trainees around the world have access to surgical training tools. of the most advanced and efficient lunges available in modern times. .

She noted that in low-resource settings, access to safe, high-quality surgical training could be a challenge, especially when it comes to training for specialized procedures like cleft lip and palate surgery. .

Dr. Anastasia Ohene, an anesthetist at KATH and instructor at Smile Train, who facilitated the training, advised that after cleft lip or palate surgery, there can be speech difficulties – hypernasality and articulation difficulties.

She therefore underlined the need for an interdisciplinary approach in the overall management of people with cleft lip and/or palate, after surgery, hence the training.

According to Dr. Ohene, Smile Train’s focus was not only on cleft surgery, but also ensuring that abnormal nasal resonance, abnormal nasal airflow, laryngeal voice quality (chord vocal) impaired were all corrected so that the children live a good life.

A speech specialist, she said, should be involved in identifying infants at risk for communication disorders, as well as initiating early intervention to prevent or alleviate communication disorders. caused by the cleft.

One attendee, Dr. Charles Martyn-Dickens, pediatrician at KATH, praised Smile Train for hosting the training, saying it would build their skills to provide comprehensive care after a cleft repair, as some children exhibited “cleft palate speech”. as nasal airflow might be tempered during surgery.

He said the training would allow them to resuscitate any child with breathing difficulties.

“Wherever I am, whether it is at the mall, at the market, at school, I will be able to serve any child with breathing difficulties, thanks to the skills acquired through the training,” he underlined. .

Christine E. Phillips