Today was our final day at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. We spent the morning providing outpatient speech and language therapy to patients who ranged in age and diagnosis, from adult stroke patients to young children with hearing loss, and everything in between! We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from the Speech and Language Therapy team at Korle Bu, especially Dr. Albert Osei-Bagyina (the first Speech Language Therapist in Ghana), Josephine, Nana Akua, and Clement.
After thanking the Korle Bu SLT team for their clinical support, translating services, and cultural insight, we headed over to the Cleft Palate Clinic in the Korle Bu Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Centre. We saw over a dozen children with repaired and non-repaired cleft lips and/or palates. We made recommendations (for speech therapy, surgery, or other services) based on our parent interviews, speech and language assessments and an examination of each child’s speech mechanism.
One 9-year old boy we saw was particularly interesting. He had multiple surgeries to repair his cleft lip, palate and fistula; however, the fistula had re-opened, resulting in hypernasal speech. The boy told us he was afraid to undergo further surgery, but after our SLP students counseled him on the importance of repairing his fistula (an opening along the stitched seam in the repaired palate), he agreed to have his fistula repaired. Yay!
Next, we presented our findings to the Cleft Palate Team. The team included surgeons, audiologists, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, dentists, orthodontists, and medical doctors. Together, we met with each patient and his/her family to discuss the patient’s condition and make recommendations for future care. It was a privilege to collaborate with such a remarkable and compassionate group of healthcare providers.
Before saying farewell to Korle Bu, we visited the boy whose cleft palate repair surgery we observed yesterday. He looked happy and well 🙂 We are hopeful for a smooth recovery.
Tonight, we went to dinner in Osu (a neighborhood in Accra) – “Little London” – at Oxford Mall. We toasted to a successful few days! We’re going to bed early tonight to catch a 6:00am flight to Tamale!
Thanks to Amanda Khoe and Jenna Schaeffer for the post.