Queen's University Belfast 2014

Medical, Ghana Takoradi

I always wanted to practise medicine in Africa and as a result, chose to do all six weeks of my allocated elective period in Africa. I heard about Work the World (WTW) from my university and spoke with previous students who had travelled with them.

Ghana was a good choice for me as it is labelled as the ‘gateway to Africa’, and I wanted somewhere safe and friendly for my trip to the continent. I was also attracted by the fact that English is very widely spoken and the WTW house is close to the coast, so beaches are easy to get to.

From the very beginning of my planning the trip, WTW was there every step. With regular phone calls, updates and advice, I found myself with very little stress or worry, and the organisation of accommodation and hospital placements were taken out of my hands. 

I chose to spend two weeks at A&E, one week at the Village Healthcare Experience, two weeks back at hospital in Anaesthetics, and a further one week at the Orthopaedics ward. I found that this was a good mix, as variety would keep things more interesting. The hospital placements were completely different from home and gave me a real insight into the healthcare system of a low-resource setting. That being said, it was a bit of a challenge to adjust to the different attitudes to healthcare. Although the placements can be challenging, there is a lot of opportunity to see cases and patients that would never be seen in the back home. My village week was also a great opportunity to see interesting and very rare conditions.

The WTW house was a great experience with lots of friendly people, lovely staff and amazing food. The staff are usually about the house or can easily be accessed by phone in case of a problem arising. I felt safe and secure in the location and was grateful for the support offered when people were ill or in difficulty.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Ghana was the travelling at the weekends. There is so much to see and do and all within driving distance. We visited the stilt village, stayed a night in the rainforest, went to beach resorts and had great experiences.

I would recommend travelling to Ghana, especially if it is a first trip to Africa. All in all, I had a great trip, made so much more relaxed by the safety and security offered by WTW.

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