Planning an elective placement with Work the World was amazing. I couldn’t have hoped for a better life changing experience.
I was greeted at the airport with a big smile from a member of the team and I immediately felt happy and safe. I spent my first night in Accra and although I was very tired from traveling I was excited to explore Oxford street and the nightlife in Accra. The next morning, I met the other students in the house at breakfast and we all immediately bonded.
The Work the World team were very friendly and ready to answer any questions and help when needed. We were orientated to the house, hospital and Takoradi and given information about what to expect and how to make the most of our experience. The house was lovely with plenty of room, a pool and balconies (where I would sit each morning watching the world go by).
During the hospital placement I attended the doctor’s handover each morning. Staff were very friendly and happy to explain and teach new skills. I saw normal vaginal deliveries, caesareans, gynae procedures, antenatal clinics and spent time on the triage assessment unit.
I bought equipment to give to the hospital such as gloves, tourniquets, amnihooks, stethoscopes and knitted hats and blankets for the babies. There were a lot of noticeable differences in care, such as the lack of woman centred care and pain relief.
The weekend was packed full of activities with a night at Kosa beach resort, a visit to cape coast castle, traditional fabric dying, a night in a tree house in Kakum National Park, a canopy walk across the forest and a chance to touch a real live crocodile!
During the week once we’d finished placement we went to the markets where we bought some beautiful fabric which we then had made in to clothing in our chosen style. We also attended a church service and explored different bars and beach resorts - we spent a few evenings in the bar near to the house where we would have a few drinks and a dance.
Thursday evening was always BBQ night! These were great and full of fun, games and dancing! I spent my last night in Accra with a lovely family I’d met. We went on a night out where I tried some local drinks, explored the art market, tried one of the local Chinese restaurants and then said my goodbyes at the airport.
To anyone wanting to travel to Ghana my main piece of advice would be to befriend hospital staff and get fully involved. I embraced the culture and ended up having cooking lessons, speaking on one of Takoradi’s radio stations about my experience and meeting some wonderful people from Ghana which I have remained in contact with now I am home.
My only regret is that I didn’t stay longer!
My trip to Ghana has confirmed my love of travel, African culture, and midwifery, and I am already planning to return to Ghana next year.