Volunteers will be placed with doctors and nurses in actual care facilities in Ghana.
About the Program
Access to healthcare in Ghana has improved dramatically since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Act in 2003. However, the healthcare system in Ghana still faces a number of challenges, particularly in rural areas. The large majority of patients arrive due to illnesses related to poor sanitation. Malaria is also a huge issue and remains the cause of many deaths and illnesses. In addition, HIV/AIDS continues to harm the lives of so many Ghanaians. Many of the major causes of death and serious illness are avoidable. The work of the healthcare system in Ghana is not only to treat immediate cases but also educate the local communities in preventative measures.
We can organise placements from people of all backgrounds. So whether you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application, a nursing student organising an overseas elective placement, or a qualified healthcare professional looking to give back on your next vacation – we have just the project for you!
Work Experience Internships – We welcome school leavers and 1st year healthcare related undergraduate students, looking to gain invaluable experience. Your role is largely observational. The hospitals are poorly resourced and under-staffed by Western standards, so you will have a very eye-opening experience. You will be placed in a number of different departments, so that you can receive a broad insight into the Ghanaian healthcare system.
The maximum recommended duration for the work experience internship is 6 weeks. You are able to combine your healthcare program with our other community based volunteering projects such as helping at an orphanage or teaching project, should you wish to get involved in multiple projects.
Health Electives – We offer a specific program for dentistry, medical, midwifery and nursing students looking to take part in an overseas elective. We can tailor the placement around your needs and design your work schedule around the requirements for your elective. OGVO can also complete any paperwork required by your university, as we receive 20 to 50 healthcare students join us in Ghana for their elective placement.
You will find the staff at the healthcare facilities appreciative of your support and positive towards information sharing. Over the course of your placement you will witness a range of cases that you may never come across in your country, such as Typhoid, Polio and TB. There will also be the chance to learn about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis and Dengue. Whilst the hospital adopts modern forms of treatment, you will experience how cases are treated within an under-resourced and poorly staffed healthcare system and the challenges the staff face. Furthermore, cultural factors and a lack of education/health awareness will give you an insight into the alarmingly high number of preventable cases admitted each day. Many students also find fascinating to witness the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship compared to that of the western world.
Medical Volunteering – OGVO welcome qualified healthcare professionals looking to make a difference with their time abroad. The vast majority of medical facilities in Ghana are crying out for support from qualified international volunteers.
Please note that, as you are not registered to practice in Ghana, you will not be permitted to practice independently or undertake any complicated procedures. You will work alongside the local staffs that are ultimately responsible for you during your time on the placement.
As for all our volunteer programs in Ghana, it is possible to combine multiple projects during your time with us. If this is something you’d like to do, then please apply for the main program you’d like to take part in but also outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. We will finalize the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.
Usual working days go from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM.
The main departments we can arrange placements in are:
Adolescent Counselling, Community Health Education, Dentistry, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), General surgery, Laboratory, Nursing, Maternity & Midwifery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy, Prenatal, Psychology, Radiology, Ultrasound
* Please note we can potentially organize placements in other departments on request.
During weekends Volunteers/Interns have the opportunity to visit all that Ghana has to offer. Weekend trips available include visits to Mole National Park in the Northern Region of Ghana. This National Park offers a great Safari-like experience and is one of the biggest Elephant Sanctuaries in Africa with the chance to spot Lions, Leopards & Antelopes in their natural habitat.
Volunteers can also take a trip to Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana to relax in the beautiful beaches and see the famous Cape Coast castle, the Kakum Canopy walkway and Elmina castle, where slave trade begun.
NOTE: We do not provide tours, however you can add a tour before or after your volunteer program for an additional cost. We can perform quality tours and can offer discounts to volunteers.
You will be met upon arrival and you will be transfer to your project site, it's about 4 -5 hours drive from the airport, Accra.
All accommodation with a Ghana home-stay family is included. Rooms are private (you can share with other volunteers but the price will remain the same) and have all the basic furnishings you could expect, including running water, electricity & clean bathrooms. The home-stay families have been specially chosen by OGVO and have hosted many volunteers over the course of several years. Our home-stay families form some of the most memorable parts of Volunteer Programs and provide amazing insight…..
Three meals a day are provided by the home-stay families and consist mainly of traditional Ghanaian meals with some flexibility for home comforts when available. If you have special eating needs, you can indicate that while applying. Even though special eating needs are not something we can guarantee, we will do our best to meet your needs.