Medical Volunteer Abroad in Ghana

Kumasi, Ghana

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Plan My Gap Year

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  • From $714 for 2 Weeks

  • 2 - 24 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

Description

Overview

PMGY’s Ghana Medical Volunteer’s program organises placements for people of all backgrounds. So whether you’re a recent high school graduate (age 17 and older) who’s looking for work experience to boost your university application, an undergraduate, or a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective placement, we have just the project for you!

You will find the staff at the healthcare facilities welcome your support and are eager to share information. Over the course of your placement, you will witness a range of cases that you may never come across in a UK medical setting, such as Typhoid, Polio and TB. You will also have the chance to learn about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis and Dengue. Although the hospital has adopted modern forms of treatment, you will experience how cases are treated within an under-resourced and poorly staffed healthcare system and how the staff faces these challenges. Furthermore, you will see how cultural factors and a lack of education/health awareness impact the alarmingly high number of preventable cases admitted each day. Many students also find it fascinating to witness the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship in comparison to medical settings in the UK and abroad.

Those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are a medical or pre-medical student, you may have the opportunity for some more basic hands-on involvement, at the discretion of medical staff. It is important to be mindful that the work you are assigned is not above your comfort or qualification level.

The maximum recommended duration for a medical experience is 6 weeks. As for all PMGY volunteers in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine your healthcare program with other community based volunteering projects, such as helping at the orphanage or the teaching project. If this is something you’d like to do, please apply for the medical volunteer program but also outline the details of the other projects that interest you in your online application. Our local team will finalize the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

Arrival and Orientation

Your first night in Ghana will be spent at a hostel near Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Our partner hostel offers basic but comfortable accommodation. You will share an air-conditioned room with fellow volunteers. A member of the PMGY Ghana team will also stay at the hostel to ensure you have 24/7 support and will travel with you to Kumasi, which is approximately five hours away, the next day.

Accomodations

During your time with PMGY in Ghana, you will live in our Volunteer House, located in a friendly neighborhood, a 45 minutes drive from Kumasi city centre. Not only is there is a small shop opposite the Volunteer House, you will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs in the center of town, where the local community is extremely friendly.

Your home away from home is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi (although intermittent). Each room is furnished with bunk beds for up to 6 people per same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with bed linen, fans, and their own mosquito net. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and UK style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Ghana is hot all year-round!

The Volunteer House is shared by volunteers from a variety of programs, only adding to the richness of your experience. In the communal area, you’ll find a lounge with a TV and DVD player and an outside seating area. Volunteers are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare meals or even help out when meals are being prepared. A member of our local team will also live at the house which is gated and secure. Our local coordinator lives on-site to ensure you have around the clock support and security.

When not working, there is plenty to do with your new friends in Kumasi, which is Ghana’s second biggest city, like exploring Kejetia Market, the Menhya Palace, or Lake Bosumtri, the only natural lake in Ghana.

Please note in advance that power cuts and water shortages are very common in Ghana, but alternative solutions exist when these circumstances arise.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Field Conditions

The departments we can arrange placements in are:

– Adolescent Counselling

– Community Health Education

– Dentistry

– Ear

– Nose and Throat (ENT)

– General surgery, Laboratory

– Nursing

– Maternity & Midwifery

– Obstetrics & Gynaecology

– Ophthalmology

– Paediatrics

– Pharmacology

– Physical Therapy

– Physiotherapy

– Prenatal

– Psychology

– Radiology

– Ultrasound

The medical staff are accountable for you while you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted to get involved in hands-on procedures. While previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.

We also offer more specific program opportunities for dentistry, medical, midwifery and nursing students looking to take part in an overseas elective. We can tailor the placement around your needs and design your work schedule around the requirements for your elective. PMGY can also complete any paperwork required by your university, as we receive many healthcare students in Ghana for their elective placement.

Your Impact

Even in the 21st century, healthcare comes at a premium in many parts of the world. Volunteer abroad at the Manhyia government hospital, based in central Kumasi, Ghana, and find plenty of opportunities to help improve the health and well-being of underserved communities, and gain first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanaian healthcare system. The work of the healthcare system in Ghana is not only to treat immediate cases but also to educate the local communities in preventative measures.

Access to healthcare in Ghana has improved dramatically since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Act in 2003. The hospitals are poorly resourced and under-staffed by UK standards, so you will have a very eye-opening experience. You will be placed in a number of different departments, so that you can receive broad insight into the Ghanaian healthcare system.

The large majority of patients arrive due to illnesses related to poor sanitation. Malaria is also a huge issue and remains the cause of many deaths and illnesses. In addition, HIV/AIDS continues to harm the lives of so many Ghanaians. Many of the major causes of death and serious illness are avoidable.

Location

Kumasi, Ghana
  • Where you will be volunteering
    Kumasi, Ghana

    The Manhyia government hospital is based in central Kumasi.

  • Where you'll be staying
    Kumasi, Ghana

    Dorm-style rooms are shared with up to 6 people per same-sex rooms.

  • Nearest Airport
    Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana

Cost

Projects start from 2 weeks. The pricing table includes the $249 registration fee.

2 Weeks
24 Weeks
2 Weeks

$714

What’s Included

  • Accommodation (Volunteer House)

  • Certificate Of Completion

  • Regular program Inspection

  • 100% Financial Protection

  • Live Pre-departure Webinars

  • Comprehensive Volunteer Handbook

  • 24 Hour UK-based Support

  • 24 Hour In-country Support

  • In-country Orientation

  • Airport Pick Up (24 Hours)

  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

What’s Not Included

  • Criminal Background Check (Varies)

  • Visa ($90-$150)

  • Return Airport Transfer ($75)

  • Travel Insurance ($22.50 Per Week)

  • Flights To Accra ($600-$1050)

  • Transport To Project ($0-$6 Per Day)

Project Start Dates

1st and 3rd Sunday Every Month

Organization

Founded in 2011 by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Years works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact in the world. Our structured programs create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in your host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with them. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure their setup is safe and that their volunteers are making a positive impact. There is also a great social element to our programs. We put you in touch with all of your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way.

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