Fasciotomy to Save a Limb with Compartment Syndrome

In December, I operated on a little girl’s forearm. She had developed compartment syndrome after falling and injuring her arm. The child’s family assumed she had broken her arm and brought her to the bonesetter who wrapped the arm tightly.  After 2 days, it became apparent that the child’s arm was severely injured and she was brought to the hospital. The arm was swollen and tense, discolored and numb with no pulses.

The muscles in the arms and legs are encased in thick connective tissue compartments (called fascia).  When the muscles become swollen within this compartment, the pressure can compress the nerves, blood vessels and even the muscle itself to the point that the tissue begins to die.

** WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES **

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Ghana’s Historic Mosques: Maluwe

This is one of a series of posts about Ghana’s only six remaining historic mud mosques built in the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style.


Maluwe is a small village just east of Bui National Park by which the Wa-Techiman highway passes. Its mud mosque sits right on that heavily trafficked road. Unlike most of the other mud mosques in Ghana, it has not had a larger, more modern mosque built to replace it. Instead some modern building techniques have been used to expand it to accommodate more people. Read More

Ziŋŋa yi yɛli, ni, nyɛbga nini beera, di nyɛ la yɛlimaŋni.

If the fish says that the crocodile’s eyes are paining him, it’s the truth.

Mampruli Proverb

Ghana’s Historic Mosques: Bole

This is one of a series of posts about Ghana’s only six remaining historic mud mosques built in the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style.


On my trip to see the ancient mosques in northern Ghana, I was disappointed to find two of the three mud mosques in the Upper West Region to be collapsed and abandoned. Entering the Northern Region, my first stop was in ex-president John Mahama’s hometown of Bole where another Sudano-Sahelian style mosque was reported to stand.

I was pleased to find it not only standing but in great condition and still in use. I greeted the chief imam, signed the visitor register, paid my 10 cedis and was given a guide to take me in. I arrived a bit after noon time and they were preparing for midday prayers so my tour was a bit rushed. Read More

A Trip to a Tampulma Community

Who are the Tampulma?

The Tampulma (or Tampolensi or Tamprusi) are a minority ethnic group primarily concentrated just west of the White Volta River around the town of Daboya.  They share their land with the majority Gonja people and have unfortunately been in the news often over that last few years due violent clashes over land, chieftaincy and taxation disputes. Their language of Tampulma (or Tamplim) belongs to the Gur group of languages and resembles Sisala, Mo and Vagla in some aspects. Read More

Ghana’s Historic Mosques: Nakore

This is one of a series of posts about Ghana’s only six remaining historic mud mosques built in the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. 


Just southwest of Wa in Ghana’s Upper East Region, lies the small village of Nakore (inaccurately labeled Kapaguri on Google). Behind the central mosque stands a centuries-old mud mosque in the ancient Sudanic style of architecture. It has recently been painted white and stands in beautiful contrast to its dull, modern surroundings. Read More