University of Antwerp
In July 2018, I did an internship with Work the World in Ghana.
I spent four weeks in total in my placement hospital. One week in delivery, two weeks pediatrics, and one in NICU.
I really wanted to understand the pediatrician role as it relates to the Ghanaian healthcare system.
I found Work the World online and made my decision quite quickly.
Work the World helped a lot when it came to preparation, and I perfectly knew what to expect from my adventure in Ghana.
I received a warm welcome from a member of Work the World staff when I arrived at the airport.
The friendly nature of the local people struck me immediately.
Having a swimming pool helped.
We travelled together to the ‘Work the World’ house. When we arrived, we heard “Akwaaba!” (welcome) from everyone.
After a delicious welcome dinner, the team took us on a tour of the house. It was huge and a lovely place to live.
Having a swimming pool helped.
After the house tour, the team told us all about local culture.
The information they offered was really useful as it helped us understand and communicate better with the people of Takoradi.
The hospital tour gave us the chance to see our new clinical environment
The next day, we went on a tour around the city and then a guided tour through the hospital. Both were fascinating.
The city tour gave us great ideas for places to explore during evenings and the weekends.
And the hospital tour gave us the chance to see our new clinical environment, the day before our placement started.
The WORK THE WORLD house
A language teacher came to the house twice a week to deliver language lessons. The lessons were really useful and helped us learn Fanti (the local language).
A special thanks to our catering team, as the food they cooked us was always delicious.
Thursdays were BBQ nights! They were a big party with all the housemates. One night, some Ghanaian drummers and dancers came to the BBQ. They even taught us a Ghanaian dance.
It was a special evening.
We learnt how best to deliver care with very few resources.
The experience in the hospital was great. We learnt how best to deliver care with very few resources.
It was frustrating at times, but we learned to appreciate what we had at home.
There was one woman in Accident and Emergency who had a NSTEMI and needed urgent medication. But her husband wasn’t there to pay so she could receive care.
We also did some outreach trips into a local community.
The trips were fascinating, but also a bit confronting when we saw the conditions some people lived in.
In our spare time we had a lot of fun.
We were regular customers at the Market Circle in the center of Takoradi. Actually, it was my favourite place with all the local people and lots of beautiful colours everywhere.
I loved it.
The weekends were amazing. During our first weekend, we went to Cape Coast.
We did a canopy walk in Kakum National Park, learnt to make traditional Ghanaian food, and printed our own fabric.
We travelled to Mole National Park during our final weekend. It was beautiful to see all the nature (especially the elephants). Standing so close to such huge animals was amazing.
I learnt a lot about medicine but also about myself.
I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to go on this trip.
It was an amazing experience. I learnt a lot about medicine but also about myself.
It brought me closer to the pediatrician I want to become in the future.
I also made some wonderful friends. Without them, it wouldn’t have been the wonderful experience that was.
Thanks such an amazing experience!