Postcards from the Field

Kumasi, Ghana

More postcards

Libby's Experiences in Ghana

POSTMARK: July 20, 2015 | KUMASI, GHANA

I arrived at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Eye Centre before the clinic opened for patients this morning and snapped a picture from the rooftop. I wanted to get a lay of the land and see where I will be working and studying for the next two weeks.

The warmth of the people here is certainly matched by the beauty and color of my surroundings.

— Libby

POSTMARK: July 26, 2015 | KUMASI, GHANA

All education in Ghana is taught in English, so as I joined the medical students in clinic, everyone was trading advice and helping explain concepts the others may have missed.

We crowded around KATH’s only fully-trained pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Peter Osei Bonsu, as he talked us through a comprehensive pediatric exam.

— Libby

POSTMARK: July 28, 2015 | KUMASI, GHANA

I’m in my second week now at KATH and HCP’s partner at the Eye Centre, Orbis, has just arrived with a full surgical team in tow.

Everyone is excited about the chance to learn and refine their skills. Each morning this week, the local nurses and I have been gathering for a lecture on nursing in the Ophthalmic Operating Theatre.

But, before the work begins, there is singing.

Head nurse Gifty led the staff and waiting patients in the morning devotional. The song is followed by a prayer and then a speech is given on some aspect of public health like Ebola or bird flu. (Ghana has not had a recorded case of Ebola.)

— Libby

POSTMARK: July 30, 2015 | KUMASI, GHANA

It’s my second to last day here in Ghana and first up on the list for surgery is this sweet nine-year-old girl.

Little Anita is currently blind in her right eye from a cataract she received from accidentally hitting her head a while back. The milky white cataract is so large there is no way to hide her unusual eye.

She has been very shy and nervous, only speaking quietly in the local language, Twi. Yet once I handed her my phone with games on it, her face lit up in smiles.

Tomorrow, before I head to the airport, I'll join Dr. Bonsu in clinic and watch as her eye patch is removed.

— Libby

POSTMARK: July 31, 2015 | KUMASI, GHANA

I head back to the states today, taking with me a wealth of knowledge and a number of incredible memories — including the look on Anita’s face when her sight was restored this morning.

With this experience, I feel we both are seeing the world with a whole new clarity.

— Libby