Medicine & Healthcare, Physiotherapy in Ghana by Suzanne Laurie
Bsc (hons) Physiotherapy
Degree-level training and 1 month spent in Malawi.
Suzanne spent two months in Ghana using her knowledge of teaching to help local staff and patients in a hospital in Koforidua. This is what she had to say about the project:
“There were so many things to adjust to…. Whether it was the food, family life, the relaxed attitude to work or just everyone staring at you in the street! But it was a tremendous adventure to experience these things and become part of Ghanaian life. It was probably the quickest but most exciting month of my life.”
The Project Partner
Suzanne worked in the physiotherapy department of the Koforidua Regional Hospital. The department had an outpatients department where patients came from home for their treatment. The local physiotherapists also saw patients on the wards with many different illnesses and conditions. Suzanne’s job was to become part of the physiotherapy team and assist with their caseload.
Role of the Volunteer
Suzanne's role at the hospital included the following:
- Working with patients to identify their physical problem.
- Assisting patients with joint and spinal problems, especially following surgery.
- Helping patients' rehabilitation following accidents, injury and strokes.
- Collecting patient statistics.
- Educating and advising patients and their carers about how to prevent and/or improve conditions.
Benefits to the community
The main benefit from Suzanne’s work was that the local staff were able to discuss different treatment methods. They learned different assessment and treatment techniques from Suzanne which should end up benefiting the local patients. In addition to this, Projects Abroad had only recently begun working in the Koforidua region of Ghana so Suzanne was able to help develop a relationship with local staff for future volunteers to build upon.
“Whilst working we had in depth conversations with our colleagues about various topics including physiotherapy and what work in the UK is like but also more complex topics like religion. These could be very interesting and helped me understand the Ghanaian culture.
We socialised with the local projects abroad staff and also with our colleagues from the placement, through these interactions I think we all learned a lot about each other countries.”