Medicine & Healthcare, Doctor in Ghana by Robert Graham
Dr Robert Graham
Degrees in Osteopathy and Naturopathy, and Acupuncture
Over 40 years of private practice.
Robert worked in Ghana for one month in order to help staff and outpatients at a local hospital. This is what he had to say about his time overseas:
“The Ghanaian people are some of the most friendly you could wish to meet!”
The Project Partner
Robert worked at the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in Ghana’s Eastern Region. His main work involved the outpatients department. Here he would work alongside local doctors in order to treat patients. He also spent time each week with a local nurse visiting local orphanages and schools. This was an excellent way to provide much-needed healthcare such as vaccinations and first aid.
This was in fact the second time that Robert had visited Ghana and volunteered in a hospital. This meant that he was able to settle-in quickly and already understood the key cultural issues that he would face. The staff in Ghana were pleased to receive a volunteer with Robert’s experience and qualifications. They were able to share ideas and also learn about different treatment methods.
Role of the Volunteer
Robert's role at the hospital included the following:
- Working as a consultant in the outpatients department.
- Providing treatment for round 30 patients per day.
- Observing patients with conditions such as hypertension, typhoid, malaria and joint problems.
- Paying weekly visits to local schools and orphanages to provide basic medical care.
Benefits to the community
Robert had previous experience of working in Ghana so he was able to play an important role at the hospital. He was able to assist the local staff and really make a difference in the community. The clearest example of this is in the work that Robert took part in at local schools and orphanages. He was able to provide basic medical treatment but also get involved in health education. It is this educational and preventative work that has the greatest positive impact on the local community.
Robert spent a lot of time with local staff in Ghana and his host family. Given that he was returning to Ghana, he was already aware of many of the social customs. He was also prepared for the cultural differences between Ghana and the UK. However, he still remarked that despite some of the problems still faced by Ghanaians, they are still a remarkably friendly and welcoming people.
After his trip to Ghana, Robert went on to volunteer with Projects Abroad PRO in India. He had such a successful time on these projects that he has already arranged to return to Ghana in 2012. This shows that volunteers who work hard and make an effort to immerse themselves in local culture make long-lasting ties that keep them coming back for years to come!