As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will gain first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanian health care system. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide a once in a lifetime cultural experience. The medical project offers a fantastic opportunity to spend time a range of departments in a large government hospital. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them.
MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
GET INVOLVED IN OUTREACH HEALTHCARE COMMUNITY PROJECTS IN RURAL VILLAGES
A TOP DESTINATION FOR FIRST-TIME TRAVELLERS LOOKING FOR A SECURE & SOCIAL EXPERIENCE
GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO SPECIALISE IN CERTAIN AREAS WITHIN A LARGE GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL
STRUCTURED WEEKEND TRIPS TO CAPE COAST & MOLE NATIONAL PARK
EMBRACE GHANAIAN CULTURE WITH DRUMMING & DANCING EVENING ACTIVITIES
BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM
Access to healthcare in Ghana has improved dramatically since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Act in 2003. However, the healthcare system in Ghana still faces a number of challenges, particularly in rural areas. 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. The work of the healthcare system in Ghana largely centres on treating immediate cases. However, it also extends to educating the local communities in preventative measures.
We offer medical placements for people of all backgrounds. Therefore if you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application we can accommodate you. Alternatively, if you’re a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective/mission placement we also have you covered.
Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform. Such a platform that allows for valuable exposure to medicine and healthcare projects within a new culture. For the reason that many of the facilities, procedures and operations you observe will be completely new to you.
More specifically, they will be completely different from how things are done in your home country. As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will need to schedule your time and skills effectively to make the most out of your project time. This is to ensure you can maximise your exposure and learning opportunities at the project.
Should medical volunteers in Ghana wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our medical volunteer abroad project in India is recognised as our leading medical volunteer opportunity. For the reason that volunteers receive high exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings.
PMGY Volunteer in Ghana playing with the school children in Kumasi during their volunteer abroad programs
PMGY Volunteer in Ghana surfing at Cape Coast during their weekend trips in Ghana
PMGY Volunteer in Ghana visiting waterfalls after their volunteer work in Ghana
MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
Manhyia Government Hospital – Based in central Kumasi, Manhyia Hospital is home to a range of departments. Participants are likely to have the opportunity to observe within more than one division. However, it is recommended that volunteers spend a minimum of one week per department. Such departments include:
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
During orientation, volunteers on this medical volunteer abroad project will receive a comprehensive introduction to Manhyia Hospital. A local member of the PMGY Ghana team will lead a tour around the whole institution. Thus allowing volunteers to become familiar with the hospital’s layout. Furthermore, this will also give you an opportunity to meet staff members within each department.
We welcome school leavers and healthcare-related undergraduate students, looking to gain invaluable exposure. Your role is largely observational. The hospitals are poorly resourced and under-staffed by western standards, so you will have a very eye-opening experience. You will be placed in a number of different departments. As a result, you will receive a broad insight into the Ghanaian healthcare system.
The maximum recommended duration for a medical experience is 6 weeks. You are able to combine your healthcare program with other volunteer work in Ghana. This includes helping at the children’s homes or teaching project, should you wish to get involved in multiple projects.
We also offer more specific program opportunities for medical, midwifery and nursing students looking to focus on an overseas elective/mission as outlined below. You can schedule the placement around your needs and design your work schedule around the requirements for your mission. PMGY can also complete any paperwork required by your university. This is because we receive many healthcare students in Ghana for their mission placement.
You will find the staff at the healthcare facilities appreciative of your support and positive towards information sharing. Over the course of your placement, you will witness a range of unique cases. This may include cases such as Typhoid, Polio and TB. There will also be the chance to ask questions about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis and Dengue.
Whilst the hospital adopts modern forms of treatment, you will experience how cases are treated within an under-resourced and poorly staffed healthcare system. Most noteworthy, you will gain exposure and insight into the challenges the local staff face. Furthermore, cultural factors and a lack of education/health awareness will give you an insight into the alarmingly high number of preventable cases admitted each day. Many students also find fascinating to witness the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship compared to that of the western world.
Community Outreach – On an ad-hoc basis, the team will arrange a community outreach day for volunteers to engage in. This will involve working alongside doctors in providing primary healthcare to rural communities outside of central Kumasi. This specific outreach project in Ghana only runs under the supervision of local medical staff.
Volunteers will join together to provide care and education to the local communities surrounding Lake Bosomtwi area. These communities will open your eyes to what a local Ghanaian’s lifestyle is like. As a result, they are sure to help you identify the real needs of the people of these villages.
Please note, the community outreach program in Ghana usually only takes place once a month. Because of this, there are no guarantees the outreach program day will be running during your time with us in Ghana.
STUDENT MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
We are able to provide specialist mission placements for students in Ghana. Students looking to enjoy a unique overseas mission experience can do so with PMGY. Learn directly from health professionals in medical settings like no other. As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you can specify during the online application process which clinical mission you wish to undertake. More specifically, highlight your mission experience in the ‘Special Requirements’ section of the online application. The PMGY Ghana team will then have everything planned and in place for your mission in Ghana. Choose from Medical • Midwifery & Nursing missions in Ghana.
Medical – During your time on a medical mission in Ghana, you will be centrally based at a government hospital in Kumasi. You will shadow doctors and nurses on their daily rounds at the hospital. They will teach you about Ghana’s prevalent diseases such as Malaria and Typhoid. Learn about their diagnoses, management and treatment. Outside of the hospital, complete health checks in rural villages in medical outreach work. Raise awareness of key healthcare issues in Ghana through supporting health education campaigns.
Midwifery – Use your international midwifery experience in Ghana to observe qualified midwives as they consult with patients in the maternity ward. This will give you the chance to see the different conditions pregnant women in Ghana face. Witness childbirth in the delivery room and assess the differences in care. Be prepared for a lack of maternity support during labour and limited prenatal care beforehand. Your midwifery mission placement in Ghana will be the most eye-opening experience you can wish for.
Nursing – Travel to Africa and experience a nursing mission like no other! Shadow nurses in a government hospital and observe their daily routines. You will experience the important role nurses play in Ghana hospitals as they care for patients, monitor them and give medication. Rotate across the departments to witness different illnesses, injuries and practices. Assist nurses with basic healthcare checks in community outreach work. Clean wounds, check for tropical diseases and conduct blood pressure and blood sugar tests.
PMGY medical volunteer in Ghana assisting check ups at a health camp in Kumasi
PMGY medical volunteer in Ghana caring for a newborn baby at the maternity ward in Kumasi
PMGY medical volunteer in Ghana checking a patients vitals during their volunteer work in Ghana
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY
Volunteers will spend their time in Manhyia Hospital, within one, or across multiple departments. Participants with or without medical experience should assume a largely observational role. There may be opportunities to undertake some basic hands-on involvement. However, the opportunity for this is dependent on a volunteer’s relationship with the doctors/nurses they work alongside. This extends further to gaining permission of the patients and previous experience/qualifications.
In general, volunteers work at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-4 hours every day from 9am-1pm. Usually, as a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will take lunch at the project. On an ad-hoc basis, you may also get the chance to experience working night shift. Should you wish to, this is something you can speak to our local team about in-country. You must arrange private transport should you decide to give up your free time to experience the night shift.
Transport to and from the medical project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.
The daily cost of getting to and from your medical project by local transport is 2-4 USD. Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.
PMGY Volunteer in Ghana exploring the local colourful markets in Kumasi after their volunteer work in Ghana
PMGY Volunteer in Ghana exploring Cape Coast after their Ghana volunteer programs
PMGY Volunteer in Ghana spotting elephants at Mole National Park during their weekend trips in Ghana
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN GHANA
Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.
Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.
Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Ghana participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.
Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.
Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for school leavers & medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.
Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.