I have done my 18-weeks GEZP in Damongo, Ghana. During this period, I took care of the children’s, men’s and women’s ward. I have also been active in public health, by participating in a health promotion program. I had a nice experience. I have also leaned a lot, not only about medicine but also about my own personality.
The atmosphere in the hospital is cosy, friendly and homey. I liked that about the West Gonja Hospital. It’s also fine to get the chance to create your own program, together with the director of the hospital. In this way, you can choose your own importances and stay longer on the wards you like the most. Besides, I really enjoyed the sober, simple but delicious food, although not everyone agrees on this. I disliked the fact that the whole life is much slower. Everything takes a long time. Making an appointment is very difficult and for me, this is a reason which prevents me to work in Ghana when I’m older. Sometimes employees are not that motivated also and they don’t work efficient.
After barely two weeks probation, I had to manage my own ward. I had a lot of responsibilities and thereby it’s possible to develop very fast. I have seen a lot of patients, with a lot of different diseases and complaints: perfect for generalists or general practitioners in spe. I also liked the positive feedback from doctors against students, what made communication easy. Although, sometimes it’s not that easy to communicate with nurses or doctors, because there are many network failures so phones don’t work big part of the time. Happily, there is always a hospital guard who can bring the messages around.
In the same time, that’s the most exciting thing in this internship: the unpredictability in daily life. Plans change all the time, because you’re working with limited sources. You should be able to improvise and to take decisions. Those experiences made me a resourceful person.
I had to show lots of initiative in education. I didn’t liked that. They will never give you some feedback spontaneously: as a student you always have to ask. In my opinion, this has to be a shared responsibility. Nevertheless, this does not outweigh the amazing time I had. I will never forget those 18 weeks and I would definitely recommend a GEZP in Ghana!
Read more: Inge Hendriks: GEZP