"I literally Watched Her Die"
In medical school, Kobbie Aryee was drawn to the structure and strict protocols of anesthesia and critical care medicine. But four years after he graduated in 2017, nothing prepared him for the chaos of COVID-19 while practicing in his home country of Ghana.
He remembers one patient in her sixties who required intubation, but the lower-level facility where he attended to her was not specialized enough to have the human and material resources to manage an intubated patient.
“She was being ventilated noninvasively and I literally watched her die,” Aryee says. “It was one of the most traumatic and frustrating things I have ever experienced because I simply couldn’t intervene any further.”
“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that intensive care is not a privilege, it should be a right for everyone."
Other similar scenes that Aryee witnessed were stark evidence of the systemic problems that plague his country’s health system and many others across the world.
In his MPH program, he hopes to gain the research skills that he will need to lead studies on ways to stretch medical resources in low- and middle-income countries, with improvised medical devices, for example. “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that intensive care is not a privilege,” Aryee says. “It should be a right for everyone.”
BSc, Medical Sciences, University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2014; MBChB, University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2017