University of East Anglia 2018
Arriving at the Work the World house in Takoradi, I immediately understood why people described it as a home away from home.
Living with other healthcare students meant it was easy to chat (and laugh) about our days on placement.
My housemates and I found it easy to support each other — we were sharing a unique experience together after all.
I loved making friends with people like me from around the world. I learnt about other cultures and healthcare systems without even travelling to them.
WE were grateful to have a space to come back to after throwing ourselves into the culture
The ‘Big Blue House’, as it came to be known, is a haven. We were grateful to have a space to come back to after throwing ourselves into the culture, placement, and traveling around Ghana.
The Work the World staff were amazing. They went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable, well-fed, and safe.
The house BBQs were a weekly favourite. There was something about them that made it impossible not to dance! The African drumming & dancing nights were immense too.
My clinical placement was eye-opening. It made me appreciate how privileged we are in the UK to have such a high quality of healthcare.
The variety in general surgery meant there was always something to see. I did ward rounds, spent time in clinics, and saw a vast range of procedures in theatre.
Some of the most interesting cases were conditions I’d seen frequently seen in England. The difference was patients presented much later resulting in severe complications.
Amputations for diabetes weren’t uncommon. One patient had bilateral, dry gangrene of both feet that was so severe her muscles and tendons were exposed.
Amputation was inevitable, but she hadn’t yet had that fact fully communicated to her.
One of my favourite experiences was observing a vaginal delivery.
Women in Ghana are incredibly determined and strong. They give birth with no pain relief, and their husbands aren’t allowed into the ward, Local midwives display less compassion than we do in the UK too.
The whole experience was astounding.
I saw conditions I hadn’t really encountered before like malaria and severe malnutrition.
I also saw peri- and postnatal care suturing, and got insight into neonatal care.
Paediatric ward rounds were fascinating. I saw conditions I hadn’t really encountered before like malaria and severe malnutrition.
The Village Healthcare Week was unforgettable. It’s optional, but having done it, I’d say it was necessary.
In terms of the healthcare side of the village week, the clinic allowed me to do things like malaria testing, taking blood pressure, and give medication.
I got a taste of rural life in this stunning little fishing village.
It was an experience for all the senses as there was so much to take in. I have too many stories to pick one to share.
Some of my best memories came from outside placement, travelling Ghana with friends I’d made in the Work the World house.
I absolutely loved getting lost in The Market Circle. The sights, smells and sounds were amazing. Experimenting with Fante (the local language) to interact with the locals was fun too.
We spent plenty of time at the beach chilling, reading, and swimming off the coast. They were precious moments of peace.
It was nice that my housemates and I and got to know one another away from the house and hospital.
Taking public transport with locals made some of the best memories.
Taking public transport with locals, truly immersing ourselves in the adventure, made some of the best memories.
We also visited Cape Coast, did a canopy walk in Kakum National Park, went to Busua Beach, and Nzulezu — a village on stilts.
My adventures in Ghana will remain in my mind forever.
My advice to you is get stuck in. Seize the opportunity for adventures, make sure you laugh!