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Doctor Reflects On Volunteering In Ghana

"It was sure a learning curve for me to provide the best care possible when presented with limited resources"
 
Robin Raju (USA) – Medical, 1 week
 
Doctor reflects on volunteering with IVHQ
 
I was at Frankadua, a small town 2 hours away from Accra with a population size of less than 1000. I was assigned to the local health center in Frankadua as part of the medical program through IVHQ . I am a resident physician in United States and I have always wanted to learn more about the health care practices in different parts of the world. When the opportunity presented itself I was more than excited to be a part of the IVHQ volunteer program in Ghana. 
 
A doctor reflects on his time volunteering with IVHQ in Ghana
 
Frankadua Health Center functions as an urgent care clinic/outpatient facility that serves people not only of Frankadua but of two nearby towns as well. The clinic even with its limited scope is nothing short of a hospital to the local folks. Madam Christine is the charge nurse and works with 2 other nurses and 3 ancillary staff members. Clinic hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm and outside of these hours, Madam Christine who lives right next door to the clinic serves as the on-call provider for the entire town. She is bound to get at least one knock at her door front every night for variety of complaints ranging from fevers to deliveries to minor traumas. She is the primary care physician for the entire town and she sure has the final word when it comes to their health concerns. My role in the clinic was mainly to assist Madam Christine with her work load whether it be managing minor acute traumas or routine follow up visits. I saw an array of patients from neonates to elderly to pregnant women with various health concerns ranging from simple colds to life threatening seizures. I also assisted the ancillary staff in triaging patients, filing medical records and submitting billing claims. I was also able to educate the staff about the best current practice guidelines on medical conditions frequently encountered in the clinic. 
 
Doctor reflects on this time as a volunteer in Ghana with IVHQ
 
My one week trip, although very short, certainly has broadened my outlook on medicine. Having done all my medical training with all the resources at my disposal, it was sure a learning curve for me to provide the best care possible when presented with limited resources. 
 
My one week stint certainly feels short but sure gives me even more motivation to come back and do it all over again. Ghanaians are known for their hospitality and my experience was no different. People of Frankadua welcomed me with open arms and needless to mention, invitations for banku and soup were at no scarcity. I express my sincere gratitude towards all IVHQ personnel for making my trip a meaningful and pleasurable one.

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