A great opportunity exists for those training towards medical qualifications who are keen to make a difference while learning and gaining some valuable experience.
SAVE operates placements in Dangme East District Hospital. This hospital sees a large number of in and out-patients per year from Ada Foah and the surrounding areas. There are currently only three full-time doctors at the hospital so nursing staff is placed under a lot of pressure to maintain high standards of care. Depending on medical experience, volunteers can help with a range of medical procedures, assist the doctors and nurses and shadow their work.
Volunteers without qualifications, but with an interest in a medical field, can assist local staff in patient care and shadow hospital staff.
The hospital we work in was set up 9 years ago and hasa maternity ward, operating theatre and separate male and female wards. This is a very busy hospital and per year Dangme District Hospital sees 4,000 patients and 30,000 out patients. In particular, the maternity ward accounts for half of the hospital’s 250 operations a year. Depending on medical experience, volunteers can help with a range of medical procedures, assist the doctors and nurses, and undertake counseling sessions, predominantly with patients suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Those with professional qualifications who submit their CV to SAVE well in advance (the hospital needs three months to arrange permits for any qualified medics) will be allowed to undertake some of the activities they are qualified in, including nursing and seeing patients.
Those with no experience may be able to go to the hospital one day a week for work experience and so their volunteering time must be combined with another project, however they are not required to obtain the work permit. The more experience and qualifications the Intern has, the more days they will be able to work in the hospital.
What to Pack
• Supply of surgical gloves
• Any up to date medical textbooks that you might have that you don’t mind leaving behind
• You may also find it useful to carry hand sanitising gel and a stethoscope to assist with your activities. Qualified medical professionals may also wish to bring some medical clothing to wear for work, e.g. scrubs or a nurse’s smock.
• Hand sanitizing gel and a stethoscope
• Qualified medical professionals may also wish to bring with them some medical clothing to wear for work, e.g. scrubs or a nurse’s smock
• Any equipment, clothing or similar items to be donated to the hospital are always very much appreciated
- Airport pick up
- Orientation and welcome BBQ
- Three meals a day
- Transport to and from the projects
- 24 hour support and supervisor on project
- Donation to the NPO to assist with projects
- Certificate of appreciation
Volunteers will be staying at Maranatha Beach Camp. The thatched houses are located on the beach and sleep 1 to 2 people per room. The beds consist of a basic mattress and a mosquito net. There is no electricity and volunteers can use a shower (cold) or swim in the lagoon.
You will receive 3 meals a day. We usually employ a local cook to provide meals, but you will be encouraged to help with cooking so that everyone is involved. The meals will be mainly traditional dishes such as Fufu (cassava), jollof rice and plantains (green bananas). The Ghanaian diet is full of starchy foods with rice, beans, maize meal and root vegetables served with simply prepared meat and locally available vegetables. If you do independent travel at the weekends you will need to budget separately for food. If you stay at the project site on weekends then you are free to use the facilities to cook your own food or eat out at local spots to try more dishes.
Volunteers are responsible for cooking their own food at weekends. Please help our crew by ensuring that if there are any foods items that we are running low on that they are notified in time for the weekly shop at the market, which you may enjoy visiting with the cook.
We can cater for most dietary requirements and it’s important that you let us know before you go. However we do not cater for picky eaters so please be respectful of the local food, cultures, traditions and give everything a go, you may even enjoy them. If you do some independent travel on the weekends you can try a number of other foods including more westernised’ dishes if you wish particularly when you are heading to tourist spots.
Our Project Leaders at your volunteer project can run through this suggested itinerary that you may want to do following your volunteer project. Read up on the following places in a Lonely Planet, Bradt Guide, Rough Guide, or whatever travel guide suits you best to get a full description of the history and culture of the areas you will visit.
Backpacking in Ghana is fun and cheap and hundreds of our volunteers have done this and recommend it if you do not need to rush back home! You may want to split the following itinerary up, or just choose to do a section of it – simply ask your Project Leader for more information when you land in Ghana.
For budgeting purposes the latest costs we have to hand are as follows:
Exchange Rate as of March 2014: 1.00 GC = 0.25 GBP = 0.30 EURO = 0.40 USD
Accra (1 night)
At Osu Oxford Street you will find nightclubs and bars or you can enjoy some western food. Learn more about Ghana’s first President and Ghana’s road to independence at Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park (6GC entry). Right beside Memorial Park at the sea you will find the Art Centre, you can go here and learn drumming and even buy a drum and other souvenirs. You can climb Jamestown Lighthouse (5GC) for at great view of Accra and you will find one of Accra’s fishing villages. It is one of Accra’s poorest areas, so it is best to avoid at night, but it makes for a great day trip.
Kokrobite (1 night)
Here you will find a beach and big reggae party’s on Saturday nights and very good Italian restaurants. You will sleep at Big Milly’s Backyard dorm for 15GC or double room for 60GC.
Cape Coast (2 nights)
From Accra to Cape Coast on the public bus is 3 hrs for 18GC. Here you will sleep at Oasis for 15GC per bunk or 50GC for a double room on the beach. It has a central location, big parties on the weekends and great pizzas. Things to see include Cape Coast Castle for 20GC for vols/students, One of Ghana’s most important historical sights and central fort to the transatlantic slave trade. Global Mamas workshops Half or full day workshops for drumming/dancing/batik/cooking for 17 – 25 USD. You can also go from Cape Coast to Elmina, it takes 30 minutes for 2 GC, here you can visit Elmina Castle for 20GC for vols/students, the Dutch equivalent of former British’s Cape Coast Castle. Or you can go from Cape Coast to Kakum which is 1 hour away for 5 GC. Kakum offers Canopy Walk for 20GC for students/vols, and 40GC for adults. Guided walks are also available. Try to go early morning to see wildlife. On the way back to Cape Coast you can stop at Hans Botel Cottage for lunch with crocodiles in the surrounding water.
Busua (1 night)
Cape Coast to Takoradi takes 3hrs, for 20GC and from Takoradi to Busua, which is another 20km, you can charter a taxi for 40GC, as no direct tro tros can change at Agona Junction to use public transport. (2 nights)
The main attraction in Busua Small village is Black Star Surf shop where the waves are good for beginners and intermediates. For 50GC you can get a 90 minute surf lesson and they also hire out surf boards. You will sleep at Alaska Beach Resort for 40GC for double room with fan.
Accra (1 night)
Head back along the coastline to Accra or head north to Kumasi, Ghana’s cultural capital.
In Accra you can sleep at Pink Hostel for 45GC for a bunk bed or you can get a double room at the coast for 40GC for Rising Phoenix, which is beside Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. See excursions listed for day 1 for ideas of fun things to do.
Then head back East for islands, waterfalls and mountains!
Ada, Dzita and Keta (2 nights)
From Accra to Ada in a tro-tro, which is a public minibus, takes 2 and half hours. Then go from Anyanui to Dzita, takes 30 mins, and from Dzita to Keta, which takes 1 hour. Spend 1 night in Ada, have lunch at Dzita and stay 1 night at Keta.
You can relax on the beach and go on a boat tour from Ada to see islands and where apateshie is made, but be careful it is very strong! The boat costs 60GC per hour, but more people makes it cheaper. Take the market ferry to Anyanui on Wednesdays for 1GC and carry on by tro tro to Dzita then Keta. Keta to visit the slave fort Slave park and fort, dont forget to tip the caretaker. At Dzita if you pre arrange you can visit the fetish priest Mamie Rasta for drumming and dancing and seeing more of the religious traditions.
In Keta you can sleep at emancipation beach for 20GC for a hut. In Dzita at Meet Me There for 45GC for a double room and in Ada Foah at Maranatha Beach Camp for 20GC for a hut.
*Keta to Aflao (1 night in French-speaking Togo)
Takes 2 hours and costs 8GC. Take the Aflao border crossing into Togo to experience life in Togo. See the markets and take in some fine French foods. Stay at Coco beach for 7000CFA for a double room. A taxi from the border costs around 2000CFA, then head back to the Ghana border (Alfoa).
Togo Visa which you can get in one day in Accra cost 10,000 CFA (1USD = 470CFA) – However when you organize your travel visa back home in your own country you need to get a multiple entry Ghana visa and you must take your yellow fever vaccination certificate to re enter Ghana.
Ho / Hohoe (1 night) – back in Ghana
Go see Wli waterfalls. From Aflao to Ho takes 3 hours, then from Ho to Hohoe takes 2 hours and Hohoe to Wli waterfalls takes 45 mins. You can stay at Bob Kofi Hotel in Ho for 60GC/80GC for a double room or Grand Hotel in Hohoe for 30GC for a room.
Make an early start from Hohoe to the waterfalls as it takes 45mins from Hohoe. The largest waterfalls in West Africa, you can do 1 and half hour easy walk to lower falls or start the 6 hour round trip hike to the upper falls. It is a hard path so make sure to take good walking shoes but you can swim in the waterfalls to cool off! Waterfalls entry is 14GC for volunteers and you will want to tip your guide a small amount.
From Hohoe to Koforidua takes 3 hours (1 night) and Boti falls is a short trip from there. You can stay in Koforidua guests hotel. Once in Boti Falls pay 20GC for guide to umbrella rock and waterfalls. Having an early morning is best if you want to hike to umbrella rock as it takes around 2 hours.
Accra (1 night)
On the road back to Accra or as a day trip out of Accra go to the Shai hills or Aburi Botanical gardens. From Boti falls return to Accra via Shai hills to see baboons, ostriches and perhaps gazelles. Entry and guide at Shai hills is 35GC for a walking tour or hire a taxi for a driving tour. Aburi entry to botanical gardens is 5GC and about 45 mins out of Accra. You can have lunch in the gardens and learn more about trees and plants native to Ghana.
In Accra you can sleep at Pink Hostel for 45GC for a bunk bed or you can get a double room at the coast for 40GC for Rising Phoenix, which is beside Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
Arriving in Ghana
Staying in Ghana
Project dates 2016
28th May – for 2 or 4 weeks
11th June – for 2 weeks
A.M: Assist in theatre
A.M: Postnatal care
P.M: Ward rounds
A.M: Postoperative care
P.M: A&E Shadowing
A.M: Update nurses and other staff
A.M: Update nurses and other staff
P.M: GP Consultation