On the 11thDecember 2017, Danish partners of the HAI Ghana project from Copenhagen University (Prof. Jorgen Anders Lindholm Kurtzhals (Supevisor-neonatal sepsis work package), Dr. Stephanie Bjerrum (Post-Doctoral Fellow-neonatal sepsis work package) and Prof. Britt Tersboels (Supervisor ethnography work package) together with their respective PhD students Dr. Appiah-Korang Labi (neonatal sepsis work package), Dr. Gifty Sunkwa-Mills (ethnography work package), visited two of the project sites i.e. the neonatal intensive care units of the 37 Military Hospital and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital as well as their respective laboratories. The visit was to familiarize themselves with the progress of the neonatal sepsis work package.
At the 37 Military Hospital the team was welcomed and taken on a tour of the neonatal intensive care unit by Dr. Sheila Okyere. The unit is a 15 bed capacity divided into two wards admitting approximately 50 neonates every month. In relation to the HAI-Ghana project Dr. Okyere emphasized that the quality of care in the unit has improved since all babies requiring blood cultures were able to receive it now as part of the study. She further expressed hope that the findings overall will help improve the units’ practices? for prevention of health care associated infections.
The team also visited the microbiology laboratory of 37 Military Hospital. There the team was taken round by Mr. Ani Amponsah the head of the microbiology unit in the company of Captain Francis Morgan Tetteh. The Laboratory is equipped with a Bactec Fx blood culture system as well as BD Phoenix automated identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing system.
At the neonatal intensive care unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital the team was taken around the facility by Professor Christabel Enweronu-Laryea (neonatologist and a co-supervisor on the neonatal sepsis work package). The unit is a 55 bed unit, divided into 3 main cubicles and a 5 bed Kangaroo mother care unit. The unit has a high bed occupancy rate, and serves as a major referral center for a number of hospitals whith no access to neonatal intensive care facilities within Accra and its environs. Average monthly admissions to the unit is between 130-160 neonates. Professor Enweronu-Laryea expressed the hope that findings from this study will not only help improve newborn care in the unit but also across the country.
The team later visited the Department of Medical Microbiology laboratory to familiarize themselves with the laboratory work. The project has refurbished two laboratories for the purposes of the project. They are fitted with new work surfaces and storage space and equipped with a Bactec Fx 40 blood culture system as well as media storage fridge, weighing balances autoclaves etc. With these facilities, the project has been able to carry out laboratory activities as planned.