Our volunteering in hospitals in Ghana placement is based in a hospital in Accra, supporting doctors and nurses as a volunteer as they care for low-income patients. This is a fully functioning hospital supporting a community in northern Accra and like any hospital, there are injuries, ailments and diseases presenting themselves everyday. There are a range of departments such as medical, surgical, gynaecology, surgical and the children’s ward as well as public health and dentistry. Health care is not free in Ghana and many patients cannot afford to pay for x-rays or medication.
In Ghana one in every 5 children die as a result of malaria, and the economic implications are devastating to the economy. Other tropical illnesses commonly treated are related to poor drinking water and diseases spread through poor sanitary conditions, such as typhoid and hepatitis. Join our medical project and experience first hand the difficulties faced and meet some of the amazing people trying to help make a difference to the lives of local Ghanaians.
Why choose this project?
As a medical volunteer there is much work to do to provide assistance to these poorest communities from cleaning instruments, recording patient data to participation in preventative health care workshops. Many of the procedures and treatment may be different but this is part of the learning process, for volunteers and their new colleagues. The hospital highly values the contribution of volunteers particularly as they see this as developing global citizens through knowledge exchange and working alongside international colleagues.
Role of the volunteer
Volunteers contribute through observational work, triage tasks, taking vitals and anthropometric measurements, treating injuries, shadowing nurses and doctors, sitting in on surgeries, and cleaning and preparing instruments, taking blood and educational activities. Tasks will depend on experience but everyone will be expected to carry out some administrative work. Volunteers may also perform other duties as needed, such as documenting translation and categorisation of donated medications. Nurses will gladly train volunteers in using the local equipment. Departments that you may work in include medical, surgical, gynaecology, surgical, the x-ray unit or the children’s ward. You may also have the opportunity to work in public health or dentistry.
- Preferably volunteers must be studying or have finished their course relating to health, nursing, dentistry or medicine. A flexible attitude, a willingness to learn and to participate wherever needed are a must. The more you put in, the more you will get out of this amazing placement.
- If you are a student you will be able to observe the clinical practices; the Ghanaian healthcare system will also be explained to you. You will always work under the direct supervision of a fully qualified local doctor or nurse. Activities will depend on your experience levels.
- Qualified volunteers – if you wish to practice as a fully qualified medic you will have to pass a written Ghanaian medical test. If you want to volunteer without sitting the test then you are more than welcome to do so but will not be able to perform the same duties as you do at home.
- If you are considering a career in medicine you are welcome to join the project. Your time will be spent in an admin capacity within a clinical setting, gaining an insight into Ghanaian health care.
You will be asked to send your CV/resume before being accepted onto this project, as well as certifications, transcripts and other documentation are required to enable us to establish where you will be best placed. Your contribution and performance will also be taken into consideration throughout your placement. Smart dress is required and volunteers are asked to bring their own stethoscope and lab coat with them.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To share your skills
Gain experience that could have a positive impact on your career
To work with people who have very different lives to your own
About the Location
Accra, the capital city of Ghana, is an exciting city complete with its leafy suburbia, bars, gourmet restaurants with local catchy music and trendy fashion circulating around the city. It is an impressive city which does not fail to surprise its visitors. In terms of both economy and population, Accra is now one of the fastest growing African cities. In the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and the city center, some 2.6 million people are living there.
As you walk along the paved high streets, you will notice that the new urban landscape of modern apartment blocks, business offices and hotels clash with the large elegant 19th century buildings; a reminiscent of the colonial era. Having said this, poverty is still a problem for most people living in Accra. Indeed, the city is home to some 25 communities and slums crafting a sprawling urban environment which is endlessly being expanded by in-migration from the surrounding rural areas.
For the duration of your trip, you will be staying in a shared volunteer house alongside other volunteers. The house is situated in a peri urban area in the west of Accra on the way to Kumasi. This is a residential area with access to a few local shops.
Inside the volunteer house you will have access to a shared bathroom and a common room with a table where volunteers can catch up with each other or prepare their project work. Alternatively, why not sit on the balcony and take a bit of time out? Just remember that the house is equipped with running cold water, which is quite common in Ghana.
What to do in your spare time
You might not know it, but there is so much to do in Accra in your spare time. Aside from sampling the numerous restaurants and bars, you and other volunteers can venture into town to see what’s on at the National Theatre or visit the National Museum; Independence Square; the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum; Makola Market and the fishing port at James Town.
There’s also no shortage of beaches to visit whilst you’re in Ghana. In your free time you can head down to the Gulf of Guinea to spend time either exploring the beachfront or relaxing. Alternatively, 25km to the west of Accra is La Pleasure beach and Kokrobite beach. Both of these beaches make for a great day trip out with fellow volunteers and are great way to bond and make memories. However, if you want to switch things up a bit then we advise you head west to Kumasi and discover the huge market that sells everything from spices to jewellery and more. Otherwise, head north to the Volta Region and take in the small towns along Lake Volta, or even head up to the beautiful Wli Falls, on the border with Togo.
If you want to venture even further afield, then you could look into going on a safari in one of the 16 National parks in Ghana. These national parks have lots of wildlife to see including the big mammals.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
- Cost: £1097/$1920 for 2 weeks
£130 / $228 for each additional week.
Please note that a deposit of £280 / $490 is required
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Accra, Ghana
- Project activities: Various community health projects, preventative education, medical missions and basic medical and surgical procedures
- Working hours: There are 3 shifts that you can work 7am-3pm; 3pm-10pm; 10pm-5am and you will be working 5 days a week. The clinics are open 24/7.
- Project availability All year round, except 15th December – 5th January
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: Dorm room for 2 – 4 people in a volunteer house with large shared kitchen, and volunteer planning room and veranda
- Food: Communal evening dinner during weekdays
- Airport pick up from Kotoko International Airport, Accra
- On-site orientation and project induction provided
- Kaya Healthcare Placements Ethics and Best Practice Guide
- Kaya Healthcare, Ethics and Cultural Preparedness Pre-departure document
- Health Learning Reflection Document
- Fundraising Guide
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
What is not included
- Airport drop off
- Transport to and from project
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Breakfast and lunches during the workweek, and all meals on weekends.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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