Save & Available Surgeries Save Lives
The World Bank medical statistics for Togo as of 2019 reveal only 800 nurses, 340 doctors, and 700 hospital beds for the entire population of 8,000,000. There are only 400 midwives and only 16 practicing OB’s for the estimated 381,000 pregnancies that year. 4200 women died during their pregnancy! Even worse, less than 10% of this medical care happens in rural Togo. Most rural women don’t appear for prenatal visits and postpartum visits are nonexistent. Often the woman gives birth in her village with only her non trained family in attendance. What happens if there is an emergency? Failure to progress, exposed cord, multiple fetuses, ruptured uterus, uncontrolled bleeding, pelvic dystopia, intrauterine deaths, ectopic pregnancies, toxic pregnancies are just a few of the things that might go wrong. These are not rare and if they happen there is NO ONE to save the woman or her child. If she dies that means the husband has no wife and the children have no mother.
These are the reasons GPiH and NGO Compassion have established a state of the art health center with trained staff in Agbélouvé, Togo. This center has begun to offer advanced maternity care and additional medical care to the surrounding region. Now that the health center is up and running the next phase is to build two state of the art operating theaters. We will start with a temporary procedure room in the center proper and then construct two operating theaters in their own separate building. The procedure room will allow us to offer emergency maternal care and also expand the ability to provide advanced surgical care so that patients don’t have to travel the dangerous road to Lome. Our medical staff is being trained to stabilize and manage maternity emergencies and we now have an ambulance which will allow transfers if needed.
This is very exciting work as there is nothing even close to this advanced care in the region. Not only will this procedure room and theaters offer complete maternity care, but they will expand surgical care which is now only offered in Lomé. General surgery residents under the direction of Dr. Sena Amouzou at the University of Togo in Lomé have committed to attending these theaters once built. Dr. Amouzou has been assigned by the Togolese Government to create an Emergency Response Network in Togo and he feels that this health center and its operating rooms set an example for the nation as state of the art.
This is an incredible opportunity to do a great amount of long lasting and transformative good. We need help in raising funds to move forward with creating these surgical theaters. The plan has been made, the contractors are ready, the equipment has been chosen and the staff has been trained. The Togolese Government has agreed and the University of Togo is ready to act. Please help us move forward with this truly wonderful opportunity.
(article written by GPiH Board of Directors members, Coleen Stice, MD FACS CEO CPE & GPiH Medical Committee Chairwoman)