by Work the World

Once again I was awake at 5am by the same loud radio, however I did have a pretty good nights sleep! After another refreshing bucket shower (they are amazing!) I played with three of the children at the house for half an hour. One of the little girls is quite shy but the other two are desperate for me to join in with their games! They showed me a game they’ve made out of bottle caps – I wasn’t very good at it but they thought it was funny!

At 7.30am Wisdom picked me up again from the house and took me to the clinic. Today they spent their time teaching me a bit more about the drugs they have available out there, when to use and how much. It was really useful and interesting to see how this differs from back home however I am still not sure how antacid can be used for constipation!

I also saw some really interesting cases today, including a couple cases of cholera. There was a man who was carried in by his two brothers as he was too weak to stand. He was put onto one of the two beds in the clinic room and a drip was set up. (I got to insert the cannula and then it was my job to make sure he was still alive for the next hour! Luckily, this just involved watching as he very quickly perked up!) However, rather than being referred to hospital two hour later he was discharged home. I was surprised about this as he still looked very unwell but I guess that’s the way it is in Ghana, particularly for those who don’t have health insurance.

A lot of the residents don’t have health insurance. When I was at Effia-Nkwanta Hospital I was always surprised to hear when a patient didn’t have insurance as it is so cheap for it! (Like £7 for a whole year) however after seeing how poor and how little some of the people in the village live off it is no surprise. This afternoon I got to see even more of this by visiting the old part of town; ‘Old Akwidaa’

The old part doesn’t look very old when you go to it, however it has such a high population density in such a small area there is physically no where left to build homes in it! I’ve never seen so many houses in such a small area before and it was a real incredible experience to walk around it and get a glimpse of what these people live in. Almost everyone is in mud huts and most peoples stoves are little camp fires! There are about 10 people living in each room as well, which I can’t believe as they are tiny! Everyone is really friendly and happy to see you, it really does put a smile on your face!

After going round the Old Town Jeff, Wisdom and I sat on the beach for a bit (most beautiful beach EVER) and then they took me back and made me some yummy grub! After looking at the stars again and a spot of basketball with Wisdom I then headed back to the house and spent some time sitting with the family around the campfire. It was really nice and pleasant but once again I am back in bed and its only 8pm! It seems so much later though with it being so dark! Tomorrow we are going to go on a canoe trip – I can’t wait!

Written by Jodie Booth, medical student at the University of Sheffield

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