Brooklyn medical-dental group treks to Ghana
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
By Neslon King
July 12, 2018 Health/ Brooklyn
A Brooklyn-based medical-dental group says it has completed a very successful mission to the West African nation of Ghana.
Dr. Janice Emanuel McLean, the Guyanese-born president of Action, Performance, Commitment (APC) told Caribbean Life that the group conducted the mission from Jun. 15-29.
“This mission trip will go down in history as the largest mission undertaken by APC medical mission team,” she said. “We thank God for the opportunity to be His hands, feet and heart. Caring with compassion was our mission; and, under God, we achieved it.”
Emanuel McLean said the dental team comprised three dentists — Drs. Alan Woodson, Jean Mark Arsenault and Jeffrey Pascal — 10 dental students, two hygienists and four support staffers.
The medical team included Drs. Bernard Newland and Kwame Sampong (primary care); Dr. Boateng Wiafe (ophthalmologist); Dr. Emanuel McLean; Dr. Edward McLean (psychologist); Dr. Yvonne Peters; Daphne Bobb and Frances Chow Cop (retired nurses); and Dianne Chewitte.
Emanuel McLean said the group was “ably assisted” by local medical providers Drs. Obeng Fordjour (medical director, Koforidua Seventh Day Adventist Hospital), Eric Ameyaw (clinical coordinator) and Senaru Abigail (medical officer); Patience Annaman and Ransford Wahiemeh (physician assistant); and Matron Gladys.
The first week of the mission was spent in Koforidua, in the Easter Region, in South Ghana, which in 2012 was listed as having a population of 127, 334.
There, Emanuel McLean said over 3,000 patients were seen, and 270 dental procedures were conducted, including extractions, cleaning and fillings.
She said the common presenting medical conditions were ulcers, GI problems, muscular skeletal problems, diabetes, hypertension, constipation and malaria.
Over US$30,000, or 135,000 Cedis (the local currency) in medications and glasses were distributed, Emanuel McLean said.
She said she presented daily health lectures and exercises to patients as they awaited services.
Emanuel McLean said she and Drs. Newland and Sapong also conducted a health symposium, on Jun. 16, at the Koforidua Central SDA Church, with over 500 individuals in attendance.
She said daily clinics were held at the Koforidua SDA hospital, with over 325 patients screened for various eye conditions; 44 cataract surgeries and 14 other procedures were performed by Dr. Wiafe and his team from “Operations Eyesight.”
Emanuel McLean said these surgeries were done free of charge, stating that, typically, the cost of each surgery is 3,000 Cedis, or US$750.
“We were thankful for the opportunity to provide these services,” she said. “These patients could not afford to pay for these surgeries.”
Dr. Wiafe reported that one patient was blind in both eyes because of cataracts.
After surgery, “she was able to see and returned to clinic with a big smile, thanking the surgery team for the gift of sight,” Emanuel McLean said.
She said the second week was spent in Nkoranza District in the Brong-Ahafo Region, where over 3,500 patients received medical care, and 250 received dental care.
Eye glasses, medication and supplies were given to patients, totaling an estimated US$50,000, McLean said.
She said APC’s efforts there were strengthened with assistance from local medical professionals: Drs. Owusu (optometrist), Joseph Nimako (ear, nose and throat specialist), and James Moyambe and Gideon Mensah Kusi (primary care); Kwabena Messah and Solomon Kumbunja (pharmacists); and “a committed group of young health professionals coordinated by Midwife Mavis Acheampomaa.”
Emanuel McLean said she enhanced the daily clinics with health lectures and exercise classes.
She said lay workers’ training was also conducted by Abokin, Inc. (Friend of Africa), under the leadership of Elder Giles McGill of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Emanuel McLean said 57 lay evangelists were trained, and 1, 500 “Power of Hope” books were distributed.
On Jun. 24, she said a health expo was conducted, with over 700 people in attendance.
During this event, Emanuel McLean said participants visited eight booths featuring the “eight laws of health”: Nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air benefits, rest and trust in God.
She said the dental group performed dental procedures on 100 patients.
Emanuel McLean said APC’s mission is: “Realizing that by giving to the poor, we are lending to the God.”
She said the mission provides free comprehensive care in the promotion of health and wellness to the underserved peoples of the world.
“It is in this vein that APC is committed to travel where ever God leads, to seek out and to serve, without regards of ethnicity, religious persuasion and socio-economic status,” Emanuel McLean said.
Updated 4:49 pm, July 13, 2018