Assessment of capacity for surgery, obstetrics and anaesthesia in 17 Ghanaian hospitals using a WHO assessment tool

Shelly Choo, Henry Perry, Afua A J Hesse, Francis Abantanga, Elias Sory, Hayley Osen, Charles Fleischer-Djoleto, Rachel Moresky, Colin W. McCord, Meena Cherian, Fizan Abdullah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Objectives To survey infrastructure characteristics, personnel, equipment and procedures of surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care in 17 hospitals in Ghana. Methods The assessment was completed by WHO country offices using the World Health Organization Tool for Situational Analysis to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care, which surveyed infrastructure, human resources, types of surgical interventions and equipment in each facility. Results Overall, hospitals were well equipped with general patient care and surgical supplies. The majority of hospitals had a basic laboratory (100%), running water (94%) and electricity (82%). More than 75% had the basic supplies needed for general patient care and basic intra-operative care, including sterilization. Almost all hospitals were able to perform major surgical procedures such as caesarean sections (88%), herniorrhaphy (100%) and appendectomy (94%), but formal training of providers was limited: a few hospitals had a fully qualified surgeon (29%) or obstetrician (36%) available. Conclusions The greatest barrier to improving surgical care at district hospitals in Ghana is the shortage of adequately trained medical personnel for emergency and essential surgical procedures. Important future steps include strengthening their number and qualifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1115
Number of pages7
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Africa
  • Ghana
  • anaesthesia
  • obstetrics
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


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