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Ghana Medical

Volunteer on our medical placement in Ghana

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Make a difference in Ghana

Use and develop your medical training whilst helping people in real need in an African clinic.

As a medical volunteer, you will be working in a hospital or clinic supported by Agape, helping to lessen the burden on the stretched resources of the medical service. You must have completed at least one year of medical school, or be a qualified nurse or doctor, in order to take part. You will spend your first few days shadowing the duty doctor and learning African techniques before beginning to perform procedures under supervision. Once you feel comfortable working independently, you will be carrying out a wider range of duties.

You will spend your first few days shadowing the duty doctor and learning African techniques before beginning to perform procedures under supervision

General responsibilities for medical volunteers include taking rounds, prescribing and distributing basic medicines, dressing wounds and assisting births. Tuberculosis is a widespread disease, and you will be assisting in its diagnosis and treatment.

You are likely to spend some time working in the trauma unit, treating common minor injuries. At night, the clinics become maternity wards where labour is often induced, and you may be invited to assist in these procedures as well. These shifts can run until daybreak, but despite the hard work it is a fantastic and incredibly rewarding experience.

 
Breakfast and dinner will be provided for you with your host family. Breakfast may be bread, butter, jam, eggs, coffee and tea. Ghanaian food often has an Indian influence, and dinner consists of rice, beans, mixed vegetables, fufu and stewed meat. You are encouraged to try out the local vendors and stalls near your placement for lunch; they provide food very cheaply and you will be promoting Agape’s support for the community, as well as having the opportunity to sample local cooking.

 

It is recommended that you drink only bottled water during your stay, which is available in most shops. If you have any special dietary requirements, do let us know and your host family will be informed.

Most volunteers will stay at the JayNii Foundation with our volunteer coordinator and his family.  Life at the Foundation with lots of kids can be quite intense, but also very rewarding!  You may also be accommodated with other volunteer groups at nearby homestays.  Your host family will provide bunk beds, a mattress, pillows and usually a mosquito net. Electricity is available but power-cuts can be frequent, and you will have access to showers and Western-style toilets. All our hosts have other commitments and their own values, so there may be some house rules that you will be given when you arrive.

Within a day of arriving in your home-stay you will receive the Agape Volunteers orientation. This is explained in much more detail in the information pack, but the general idea of this is to make sure that you are as prepared as is possible for your stay in Africa. It explains things like culture, customs, language and how to stay safe on a day to day basis. This also gives you a chance to meet other volunteers who you might not be staying with.

The climate is warm and muggy, with a rainy season from April to July and a shorter one later in the year. Street food is plentiful, tasty and very cheap, and is perfectly safe to eat as long as it is freshly cooked in front of you. You'll be based right on the beach in Jamestown, a deprived but lively and historical part of the capital, Accra. It's an easy journey into the city centre, where you'll find all the facilities you may require.

Your day will begin at 9am.

After discussing the day ahead with the local staff, you will be assisting with rounds, assessing new patients and checking the conditions of the overnight patients. Any treatment will be done by the local doctors or under their supervision at first, but as you progress you will increasingly be allowed to work unaccompanied.

After getting lunch with the other volunteers, you may be asked to assist on major procedures which take place in the afternoon. It is unlikely that you will play a major role in these, but if a doctor thinks you are capable, they will ask for your help. The clinics usually close around 5pm, and medical volunteers usually either help out with games at another Agape project or return to their host families.

Dinner is at about 6pm, before games with the other volunteers and then bed around 10pm. If you are assisting with a birth, these shifts will usually start at around 9pm.

There are plenty of optional extras you can choose to include in your trip. At the weekends, you can get involved with lots of activities taking place in area. Teaching on Saturdays is optional for volunteers, and usually involves lots of games rather than serious lessons. You can spend the weekends working with the children at the orphanage. Your host family will also have good recommendations for places you can visit. Most families will attend church on Sundays, and whilst this is optional, they may invite you to try it.

 

 

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