A Fierce Advocate
The first time you meet Dr. Boateng Nimako, you can tell he’s a special individual. It’s not only his calming voice or infectious smile, but also the way he fiercely advocates for his patients. Dr. Nimako lives in Ghana but has spent many years training in Cape Town South Africa, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Kampala Uganda and was sponsored twice to come to India and train alongside world renowned pediatric urologists. Both years, he not only came for training, but he brought two of his most complex exstrophy patients with him.
I first met Dr. Nimako in 2020 when he reached out to A-BE-C to see if we could help a little girl named Blessing, who at the age of four had her first bladder surgery in India. She is back in Ghana now and Dr. Nimako, in partnership with the US bladder exstrophy collaborative, has been caring for her. In time, she will need another surgery, but she is now in school and doing well!
I was so impressed with his ongoing commitment to caring for complex children being one of a few pediatric surgeons in Ghana. We invited him again in 2023 to bring a child to India that he had been taking care of for several years. When I asked what drove him to work long hours and travel the country to look after these kids, he simply said, “I am committed to giving these kids and their families an opportunity to integrate socially in the community. I also want to improve their quality of life.”
A Fierce Advocate
Dr. Boateng’s commitment is evident. He once again advocated for a little boy named Jaafar, who was born in 2013. We learned about Jaafar when Dr. Nimako consulted the US surgical team about a serious infection Jaafar developed after being treated at another hospital. Dr. Nimako spent months treating the infection to prepare him for surgery in India. Jaafar’s mom, Asmau, shared with me that until she found A-BE-C and was referred to Dr. Nimako, she felt hopeless. His two previous failed surgeries had destroyed his bladder and his spirit, and he spent many months in severe pain. Dr. Nimako, eager to learn more about treating bladder exstrophy, joined A-BE-C at Uro Care in Uganda for another week of training. It would be another two months of recovery at Civil Hospital in India before Jaafar was well enough to fly back to Ghana. Instead of returning home, he was immediately admitted to the hospital and once again under the committed care Dr. Nimako.
“The sharing of knowledge of all participants in the care of the kids with bladder exstrophy provides the opportunity to learn from the experience of other surgeons. I also like the complete primary repair approach to bladder exstrophy because it is the most viable option for the Ghanaian kids.” – Dr. Nimako
I am confident that we will continue to partner with Dr. Nimako so that more children in Ghana will receive quality care and treatment for bladder exstrophy.