04/01/2023 Travel Report 8, Ghana Trip

Today has been a really exciting day for all of us. Today, we planned to hand over our 180 hospital beds to the selected 18 facilities and perform a proper initial referral. Of course, the plan was to have "our" beds on site for this and actually use them for the briefing. In addition, we at HITA e.V., together with our project partners here at the Catholic University of Ghana in Fiapre, Sunyani (CUG) wanted to do the inventory and technical inspection of the beds after transport. The first two steps in particular are central for us in terms of creating a "maintenance culture" (sustainable maintenance culture) for further cooperation. Until 7:30 p.m. last night, we had assumed that the beds would actually arrive while we were here in Sunyani and that we would be able to administer them - although at the last minute - and hand them over in proper condition. At 7:30 p.m. we learned that "due to delays in the payments" a "clearance" of the 3 containers on Friday was no longer possible, and that they can now go on the arduous journey to Sunyani on Monday at the earliest. You can imagine how frustrated we were. However, we quickly switched into our crisis mode that we had proven on many joint trips and decided to carry out the handover and briefing anyway, especially since all participating institutions had already been invited and some of them had probably already set off. We therefore decided to do a workshop on the biggest problems of the facilities and their consequences and to compile detailed handover materials on the side. Because we had a laminator with us as a donation for one of the schools in Ho, we were even able to laminate our "instructions". A travel printer that was brought along made it possible to adapt lists and handover protocols ad hoc, print them out and attach them to the handover packages.

Preparation of handover packages

The actual workshop and handover of the "non-existent" beds then took place in a seminar room at the university. When we arrived at 12:15 p.m. - supposedly already a quarter of an hour late - we were astonished that we had to wait another whole hour until the representatives of all 18 invited institutions finally arrived - "Ghanaian Time". We actively used the waiting time to explain to those present that this event is an important step in a long-lasting cooperation and how important it is to us that these beds are also maintained accordingly. Helpful for our "credibility" was certainly the video about the packing of the beds (link to this on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zWW3JrtH5z93YMK3CybSw ), which caused incredulous amazement among those present. We also used the waiting time to take profile pictures of all participants and to find out or document the exact addresses and contact details. We also distributed color-coded name tags that enabled us to distinguish the professional groups present and thus address them directly. When all participants had arrived, we started our workshop around 2:15 p.m. first by having the questions answered individually on cards (post-it). We had chosen this method because it allows us to absorb and process a lot of information in a relatively short time. We will provide a separate report on the workshop results upon our return. But we can already promise him that we will be able to present many highly interesting and surprising details.

Workshop with the participants

Workshop procedure

Signing board of the present with 2 participants

Demonstration on a China-made hospital bed

The second part of the workshop was a masterpiece of improvisation. Without having our beds, we used a China-made 25 kg hospital bed to make clear how different these beds are from "ours" and which parts need maintenance work. We thank Felix Fiavor - also at this point - for providing the bed at short notice. The questions regarding the moving parts of the Stiegelmeyer beds were interesting. Daniel Gerlach, as a medical technology engineer, was a patient interlocutor and was able to answer all technical questions without any problems. He used the existing bed as a mock-up, so to speak, to draw attention to the differences. However, the highlight of the afternoon was the actual handover of the beds to the representatives of the selected facilities. We "virtually" handed over beds to 16 of the selected 18 facilities, and with them the task of administering, inventorying and regularly maintaining these beds. As project partners, we will stay in touch with everyone via a specially created WhatsApp group even after our departure. We are particularly pleased to have Courage Doe Agbewornu, representing our largest bed recipient, Holy Family Hospital in Sunyani, and Felix Fiavor, representing Prof. Prudence Mwini-Nyaledzigbor's department, to actively co-facilitate this new group and assist with questions of all kinds. We hope that in this way we will be able to actively stay in contact with all recipients even after our departure, not only to keep in touch but also to check the maintenance condition of the beds. At the end of today's workshop, we took a group photo of all present before all participants were offered a late lunch, an extremely important part of such events. Many participants had already been on the road all day and still have many hours of travel back home ahead of them. We were able to ask a few participants to make a video. You can see them in our Youtube Video Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zWW3JrtH5z93YMK3CybSw. At the end we would like to thank the organizers of the workshop, especially Mark Kofidze. A special thank you belongs of course to all participants of this - also for us very special event: a "handover of hospital beds without the actual beds". Medaase!

Handover to Courage Doe Agbewornu and Albert Kojo Rhule the representatives of the Holy Family Hospital in Berekum