by Dr. Lisa Trujillo
On Monday, March 3, a 40′ container packed with respiratory therapy and other medical supplies began the long journey to Ghana. For the past 2 years, Dr. Lisa Trujillo and Dr. Karen Schell have been collecting donations that will provide hospital staff and educators with much needed respiratory care equipment. The donations include several mechanical ventilators and CPAP machines, as well as multiple single patient use items necessary to provide a variety of respiratory therapy procedures. Efforts to introduce respiratory care to Ghana began as a specific initiative in 2011. After 2 years of working with Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the University of Ghana School of Allied Health Sciences and government officials, program development is moving forward. It is anticipated that the academic program will begin within the next year.
In order to support respiratory care development as a new profession in Ghana, it was necessary to collect a broad variety of respiratory therapy supplies and ship them to Ghana. A team of respiratory therapists, students and other health care providers will travel to Ghana in May. The group plans to meet the container and spend time distributing the donated supplies and providing education on how the donated items can assist in providing improved respiratory care to patients in Ghana. This shipment is the 5th shipment of its kind since the group began mission trips to Ghana in 2006.