In the summer 2016, I got my bachelor’s degree in Medicine. A few months prior to this Work the World had delivered a presentation at my university. I love travelling and have always been curious to obtain the experience of working in a developing healthcare system. I had some time before starting placements in the Netherlands, and so decided this was my time to go.
Africa in particular was of interest to me, due to the gap compared to the world I live in. Ghana in particular got my attention, as a friend of mine had had an amazing time there.
Working in the regional hospital was challenging for me. It was frustrating to deal with the lack of resources and hard to cope with seeing people suffer. At the same time, the experience gave me more passion to do the best I could for the patients I came across.
I came across tropical diseases like malaria and tuberculosis, which are everyday cases. Many patients presenting their disease were already well advanced, which gave me the opportunity to see clinical signs I would not have seen at home. One of the highlights of my time in the hospital was assisting with a delivery of a little baby girl!
Every weekend I travelled along with other students to relax after placement and to explore the surrounding region. Kakum National Park offers an unique overnight-stay in the treehouse which is located in the middle of the rainforest, and an early morning canopy walk with amazing views.
Busua was the perfect spot to relax on the beach and to go surfing. My last weekend we travelled all the way to the Wli waterfalls; the highest waterfalls of west Africa. Hiking through the beautiful mountains, together with swimming in natural waterfalls, was stunning and definitely worth visiting!
I also chose to live in a small village with a local family as a part of the Village Healthcare week. During the day I would help out in a small healthcare clinic: taking part in clinical thinking, diagnosis and treatment. In the late afternoons I explored the beautiful area and spent time with the family. I was immersed in the local way of living, and learnt about Ghanaian customs and cultural aspects.
Work the World were great in planning and helping out with all the details for my elective. Living in the house was brilliant, the food was very tasty. The weekly BBQ, especially the Ghanaian dances, was something to look forward to every week! The staff were very kind and always ready to help us out with anything.
My 7 week medical elective in Ghana was an incredible experience. I travelled extensively through Ghana’s beautiful nature, expanded my medical knowledge and skills far beyond my expectations, and met the most sincere people. It was truly an adventure I never would have missed!