Dr. Yemi Kifle (left), director, Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center, discusses sleep study data with visiting physician Dr. Peter Donkor (center) and Dr. Michael Cunningham, director, Craniofacial Center.
Dr. Peter Donkor solemnly shakes his head from side to side when asked if there are similarities between Children's and the pediatric ward at the teaching hospital where he works in Ghana.
As the chairman of the department of surgery and professor of medicine at Kumasi School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Donkor gives care to patients in a 1,000-bed hospital that serves 9 million people.
"We are at 150% occupancy and some patients, including children, must sleep on the floor," he explains.
During his 10-day fact-finding visit to Children's, Dr. Donkor is gathering the information he will need to enhance a cleft palate and craniofacial service at his hospital in Ghana.
Meeting a wide range of clinicians and staff — from speech therapists to social workers — and observing surgeries and clinic appointments, Dr. Donkor is impressed with Children's integrated approach to patient care.
Your team approach to care and child-friendly atmosphere are two areas that I want to strengthen… back home.
"The Craniofacial Service works closely with other services, including Dental; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and the Sleep Center, to make sure patients get all the care they need," notes Dr. Donkor.
"Your team approach to care and child-friendly atmosphere are two areas that I want to strengthen as a provider back home."
Children's residents also met with Dr. Donkor to explore the possibility of exchange opportunities in Ghana.
Dr. Donkor's month-long trip to the United States also includes visits to children's hospitals in Birmingham, Alabama, and Rochester, New York.
At these sites, he will visit craniofacial teams developed by Drs. John Grant and John Girotto — two physicians trained at Children's Craniofacial Center.