Wisdom Klutse Azanu
Wisdom Klutse AzanuFWACS, FGCS, Consultant Urogynaecologist with the Ho Teaching Hospital Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Health Sciences, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana

I joined the FPMRS fellowship program of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in January 2013 as the second Fellow at the Kumasi training site. With the arrival of the first IUGA/FIUGA arranged faculty, Prof. Samuel Badalian, in February 2013; and subsequent visits to Ghana by many other urogynecologists; and support from my local trainers, I graduated from the program in 2017.

During the fellowship program, I was also privileged to have enjoyed IUGA/FIUGA sponsorship to attend several Annual Meetings of IUGA and this gave me the platform to learn from the presentations and the various workshops. The Annual Meetings also offered the opportunity to interact with many other urogynecologists and to learn from them.

In my final year, a six-month stint with Prof. Stephen Jeffery in Cape Town, South Africa, enhanced my confidence and exposed me to several aspects of urogynecology which I could not have had in Ghana. Notable amongst these was the exposure to urodynamics and laparoscopic surgeries in urogynecology.

 In 2017, with the help of Prof. Tim Johnson, the then Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan, I obtained sponsorship for a 2-month observership with Prof. John DeLancey, which also had a lasting impact on my career. I still use the Deschamp’s ligature carrier he gave me for my sacrospinous ligament fixations in my current center.

As one of the first locally trained urogynecologists in Ghana, my passion has been to help create awareness about urogynecology in Ghana and the West Africa sub-region, to help train and mentor younger colleagues, and to ensure that urogynecology services are made easily accessible to all, especially those in remote areas.

Driven by this passion, upon completion of my urogynecology program, I took up an appointment at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, which is in the Volta region of Ghana. As the only urogynecologist in the region, I have used this opportunity to establish a urogynecology unit at the Ho Teaching Hospital. I work with a pelvic floor team comprising physiotherapists, midwives, and myself.

It was gratifying to have hosted one of the new fellows from the established centers for a month in my unit, running the weekly clinics and teaching him in the operating room. For now, our focus is on establishing a multidisciplinary approach to managing pelvic floor problems while trying to create awareness. We hope to organize funds in the near future to enable us to have more community engagement and education on problems of pelvic floor dysfunction as we also try to acquire the needed equipment.

I am forever grateful to IUGA/FIUGA for their support; to Prof. Stephen Jeffery and his team in Cape Town; my mentor, Prof Opare-Addo in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital; Prof. Lassey and the Accra-based team; and to senior and junior colleagues. Together we will put smiles on the faces of patients with pelvic floor problems.