It has been a very exciting and busy week here at Sagam Community Hospital (SCH). Our Every-Second Matters(ESM)-Ketamine project has expanded to a new region of Kenya. This program was created as a way to help fill the anesthesia gap by providing anesthesia for emergency and painful procedures, in situations where an anesthetist is unavailable. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and SCH have developed a key partnership with Garissa County, which is located in the northeastern corner of the country. This partnership gives us the pleasure of training four new ESM-Ketamine Providers, while expand this life-saving service.
Over the course of 5 days, an intensive multifaceted approach is used to train new ketamine providers. In-class lectures were delivered by our Sagam Ketamine Champions: Participants were lectured in-depth on safe ketamine anesthesia practices. Dr. Hijab Zubairi also lectured on newborn resuscitation, which is part of the Helping Babies Breathe initiative. Following classroom logistics, the participants had hands-on training. Throughout the week, 11 surgical procedures were performed by our surgical team in Sagam: Dr. Aparna Ramanathan (MD, OBGYN, MGH Fellow), Dr. Kennedy Ouma (MD, Surgeon), Dr. David Wanikiwa (2nd Year Family and Emergency Medicine Resident), and Dr. Richard Luate (1st Year Family and Emergency Medicine Resident). This gave our providers hands on experience: boosting their confidence and experience before they returned home. Secondly, this provided our patients with complimentary surgery for being apart of this palpable learning experience.
Dr. Thomas Burke, Chief of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at MGH, was able to join us today from Boston, USA. He was able to inspire the new providers with encouraging words and insight into just how impactful and important this program is, and how their new roles as ESM-Ketamine Providers will provide a much needed service the Garissa Country and the country at large. To date, we are at nearly 400 cases, all of which have been successful.
Participants headed home today with their new ESM-Ketamine Kits, which contain all necessary medical supplies, and plenty of knowledge. We thank them for their hard work, their enthusiasm, and their palpable humility. We wish them a safe journey back to Garissa.