What is the Volunteer in a Laboratory in Ghana project all about?
Come to Cape Coast and volunteer in a laboratory in Ghana and work in a local hospital, clinic or lab supporting a local community. Volunteering in a laboratory isn’t usually the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Ghana, but the need for support in this area is there nevertheless! The lab is small to medium size and community-based dedicated to meet the needs of the clinicians and patients to provide diagnosis. The lab runs tests for a local hospital that offers services in general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, laboratory tests, x-ray, dermatology, venereology, ophthalmology, ECG, mother and child healthcare and ultrasound. For all these departments there is only one laboratory where all patients get sent to for tests, which means that there is an incredibly high workload.
Living conditions, bathing in dirty water, unclean, dust lead to a number of different ailments. Malaria is a problem and there is a new case every day – testing in the laboratory focuses mainly on blood but also urine and faeces. HIV testing is also common. The laboratory itself is a small space but it is always busy as it is much in demand, and the waiting area outside is often full of patients, young and old. Come and work in a laboratory in Ghana and gain an insight not only into local diseases and diagnosis but also to work alongside a hard-working friendly local team.
Why choose this Volunteer in a Laboratory project?
Volunteering in a laboratory is not the most common project choice for those considering embarking upon a volunteering trip, and projects based in laboratories are few and far between. Because volunteering abroad in a laboratory is relatively unheard of, many laboratories go without volunteer support when it is, in fact, something that would benefit them greatly. For anyone with an interest in a laboratory placement, this project is a great place to start. The hospital values the addition of international volunteers to its team, as it strongly believes in cross-culture awareness and the building of global citizenship.
Role of the Laboratory Volunteer
Volunteers will assist wherever is needed in the laboratory. Your role will vary depending on your experience, but you will work under the supervision of a local clinician. Activities may involve talking to patients, recording information, logging information onto the computer system, administering the appropriate tests and also analyzing laboratory results. You may also be put to work by collecting blood from patients, using the laboratory equipment to diagnose, learning new manual diagnostic techniques and data handling. Whether you have experience or not, is not important, as there are many tasks that you can get involved in and the work you do will be greatly appreciated by local staff.
What skills do I need to be a Laboratory Volunteer in Ghana?
No particular skills are required to volunteer in a Laboratory in Ghana, although any experience will certainly be helpful to you. You must have a keen interest in volunteering in a laboratory, be enthusiastic and willing to take on any task that is given to you. The laboratory is a small place, and therefore it is essential that you work well with others and as part of a team. If you demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and a good aptitude, you may be given the opportunity to help in other ways, but these decisions are always made by the local team.
Volunteers interested in tropical diseases, lab chemistry, microbiology, haematology will find this placement very interesting and anyone who is an expert or has proven skills in an area may be able to do extra tasks under supervision. You will be asked to send your CV/resume before being accepted onto this project.
Travel during COVID times
The health and safety of our travelers and our local communities remain central to our plans for reopening countries and projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been adapting our programs and protocols to protect all those involved, and ask for everyone’s patience and collaboration as new rules are implemented in-country. For all projects, new standards of sanitation, procedures and social behaviors are in place, including new health and hygiene protocols and social distancing practices. You can read more here. Each location may be slightly different in the way they operate. We encourage you to inquire to your placement advisor to learn more about your specific project as you plan for your responsible return to travel!
While the COVID pandemic is still affecting travel, for this location, you are required to come vaccinated, and you will spend the first three nights in a hotel booked by our on-site team before joining your homestay.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To get work specific experience
To improve your knowledge about lab chemistry
To spend some time away from your everyday life
Where will I work in Ghana?
About the Location
Your project will be based in and around the Central Region of Cape Coast. Cape Coast is the beach town of Ghana, and much more laid back than Accra. The town of Cape Coast is rich in history, as it played an important role in the transatlantic slave trade. You are sure to be transported back into centuries as you visit the many slave castles along the coast for a history lesson. The town is fascinating as you can watch endlessly the fishing boats and local fishermen casting nets manually. The town has not been exploited by the tourism industry, although the beaches are beautiful! The center of town is a safe place to wander and embrace the Ghanaian lifestyle.
During your time in Cape Coast, you will be staying with a local host family where you will have access to all the modern westernized facilities.
What to do in your spare time
Cape Coast offers endless activities depending on your personal interests. If you are interested in colonialism and its global impact, or even if you are not a history buff, Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle are a must. Both attractions will transport you back in history to help you understand the history of Ghanaian and Africans as a whole. If you are looking for adrenaline activities, you will enjoy visiting the Kakum National Park and its canopies over the Ghanaian jungle!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2+ weeks
- Cost: £1060 / $1655 for 2 weeks
£270 / $318 for each additional week
- Requirements: Age 18+ and COVID-19 vaccination
- Location: Cape Coast, Ghana
- Working hours: Monday-Friday: 5 to 6 hours a day
- Project availability: All year round
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: Hotel stay for the first 3-nights + Homestay
- Food: Two meals Mondays through Fridays (Breakfast and Lunch)
- Airport: Pick up and drop off from Kotoko International Airport, Accra
- Access to personal online Kaya Community account including:
- Pre-departure information pack for Ghana
- Fundraising Guide
- How to Manage your Money Abroad Guide
- Learning Reflection Guide
- On the ground training:
- Cultural and safety orientation
- Project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support including emergency contact numbers
- Excursion Planning assistance from local staff (activity prices may be extra
- Certificate on completion of Internship
- Supervision from qualified professional
What is not included
- Food: Dinner during the workweek, and all meals on weekends.
- Routine vaccinations
- Daily transfers to and from the 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.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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