Recently in Togo, Lea Lemou, the midwife managing the Agbelouve health center, contacted 15 women who had recently given birth at the clinic to return for well-baby visits. With great appreciation and excitement, 270 mothers showed up for well-baby interviews over the course of seven days. Leading the training of the Togolese staff in performing well-baby visits was Dr. Sharon Redding. Dr. Redding, an accomplished nurse educator with an impressive amount of international healthcare experience, received her Master of Nursing from the University of Washington and her doctorate of Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Working in maternal and pediatric nurse education in over 13 different countries, she offered to partner with GPiH to assist the growing health center.
Dr. Sharon Redding, accompanied by Plastic Surgeon Dr. Coleen Stice, General Surgeon Dr. Roalene Redland, and Surgical Nursing Specialist Annette Grosse-Rhode, hit the ground running as soon as they arrived in-country. Between training the local medical staff, providing medical care, and setting up a new procedure room (which will enable minor surgeries and other emergent procedures to be performed, a surgical practice, and managing maternal emergencies) there was quite a lot to accomplish in 13 days. Each morning, the team would be greeted by the many expectant and hopeful eyes of those waiting outside the healthcare center. As Dr. Coleen Stice said, “The healthcare center quickly turned into a madhouse with mothers vying for position and children running wild.”
Taking one mother and child in at a time, Sharon performed the head-to-toe assessment alongside the Togolese staff. For the first few days, the medical staff would watch as Sharon carefully gave advice and instruction to the mothers before performing the assessment themselves. Aligning with her bold and selfless character, Sharon took every opportunity she had to provide education to the Togolese staff and patients alike. Even during her short, guilt-ridden lunch breaks, she would make an effort to engage with the Togolese mothers outside about nutrition. Over the course of their visit, not only did they administer medical care to many, but they also provided life-saving education and instruction to the Agbelouve medical staff.
In addition to their accomplishments at the center, Dr. Stice presented on Blood Supply to orthopedic and general surgery residents at the University of Togo Medical Center in the capital of Lomé. The team also distributed donated medical supplies to the center’s new procedure room and the Medical Center in Lomé. With respect to the education provided to the Togolese, Dr. Brett MacLean, GPiH’s CMO, said, “This will undoubtedly save many, many lives in the years to come without the need for Americans to be present.”