I can’t describe the feelings of working and living for 5 months in rural Africa in a few sentences. For years I was looking forward to do my GEZP in Ghana. To work as a almost tropical doctor, to learn about diseases which are big causes of death worldwide, but which we don’t know in the Netherlands, to learn from Africa itself and to share my own knowledge and to help them in the way they need it. Now, 4 months later, it’s almost time to say goodbye to Ghana and I had one of the most special experiences of my life, and I learned all these, and of course a lot more, things I just mentioned. At the children’s ward, the casualties and the outpatient department I’ve seen thousands of patients. Because the WGH is a small hospital and there a just a few doctors and medical assistants, you are very much involved with everything that’s happening in the hospital. As almost-tropical doctor you have a lot of responsibilities, but next to this, you need to learn a lot of the differences in culture and the way of working of the Ghanaian people. With the latter, I mean just not only working with less resources but also the way of working together, communicating, the role of the religion and the poverty which has a big influence on for example nutrition and living conditions of patients. Because there are not enough doctors in the hospital, you are part of offering a better health service for the locals in Damongo.
I’m convinced that everyone who’s thinking about going to Africa, this internship is a really unique chance. Also because the MUSTANGH is very much involved here, I would definitely recommend to do your GEZP here, and I hope that a lot of you will get the chance to enjoy this experience as much as I did, and ofcourse to learn a lot from it!
Read more: Simon Schepers and Evelien van der Zon: GEZP