Kathy & Andi - from Germany

Post date: Oct 26, 2010 10:24:10 PM

Kathy & Andi - Germany

In July/August this year(2009), we spent our time of volunteering with VPWA and it was a fulfilling and astonishing life experience.

In advance, we took a long time choosing an organisation for our first volunteering project in Africa and finally made our decision for VPWA, which was the best we could ever make. Within our preparations, Hayford was always available for our questions about visa, officials and every day affairs and with our arrival at Accra we promptly felt very well accompanied and cared for!

Living with Hayford and other volunteers was a huge advantage, as we experienced not only traditional food and learned how to cook it, but also get to places the “normal” tourist is not able to get to, which display the original Ghanaian way of life.

As medical students we spent our time of volunteering at Amasaman Hospital, which was the first time for VPWA having collaboration with a governmental hospital. The hospital consists of various departments, but with the major focus on a big Out-Patient- Department for the ambulatory care of hundreds of patients every day. Additionally, Amasaman hospital has specialised in the treatment of a particular bacterium, which is common in the whole country and causes ulcer and deformation.

We were placed in the clinical routine next to the doctors and health providers and had the chance to get an impression of most of the departments within a rotation curriculum.

Due to a lack of knowledge in the communal languages, we could not consult our own patients, as it would have been to time expensive to translate every complain and therapy advice, but we attended the doctors, discussed diagnosis and therapy options or did vaccination, etc.. Furthermore we spent some days at the surgical ward and learned about diseases we are not familiar with here in Germany.

On the whole, it was a very interesting experience working in a hospital with facilities and possibilities we cannot imagine in our German health system and it makes you more sensible for the real need of a patient and the limited feasibilities you can apply.

Ghana already set up a health insurance scheme, which is at a cost of about 12 euros for one year and covers most of the investigations, medicine and treatments, but for the majority it is too expensive to afford it for their families. We discussed this problem with Hayford and as a result of it, we together set up a project to help needy families to get an insurance, especially for their children to grow up healthy.

It is really worthy to spend some time at such an institution, as it provides an insight into the common needs of the people and on the other hand makes you more sensible for what we have in form of medical supply and which is accessible to everybody!!

Thanks to everybody in the hospital, but especially to Hayford for the great time we were allowed to spend at Pokuase/Ghana