This past winter, Team GPH travelled to Cape Coast, Ghana to partake in global health and education work. We volunteered at the local hospital, ran medical outreach projects, and conducted bullying education at an orphan camp. Check out the video of our experience!
Here is what GPH member, Harshal Patel, had to say about his life-changing experience:
” This past winter I had a truly remarkable time in Cape Coast, Ghana, having gotten the chance to partake in medical outreach with Global Project Hope. Growing up, I had always imagined medicine as a medium for saving lives and improving quality of life for those who were suffering. So when Ankoor presented me with the opportunity to go to Ghana for a couple of weeks to help set up mobile health clinics and shadow in a local hospital, I was at the very least excited. This marked a new chapter in my life as I had never been abroad on my own, but from the moment I landed at Kotoka International Airport to the moment I left, I felt comfortable in my surroundings. One of the most memorable experiences for me was our first outreach trip to the village of Pataase. After swabbing the wounds of the children with alcohol prep pads, I was sad to learn that many of them had ringworm infections which could have probably been prevented had they had access to potable water. I was dejected when I observed that many of their conditions had not improved on our return trip to the village, but this highlighted an important truth about medicine: while it has the potential to transcend communities, it can fail even in the most basic settings. Most of these children lived miles away from a nearby hospital or health center with no mode of transportation to get to one, and even the hospitals could only do so much due to some unsettling realities about the Ghanaian healthcare system. Through shadowing at a local university hospital in Cape Coast, I was surprised to learn that the Ghanaian National Health Insurance subsidizes malaria treatment but does not cover routine physical examinations, which these children would have greatly benefited from. While shadowing, I witnessed medical cases I had never seen through my countless hours shadowing in ICU wards in American hospitals. One of these cases was an elderly woman with osteomyelitis due to alcoholism and I also observed a sebaceous cyst repair and an inguinal hernia repair. This trip to Ghana reinforced for me that the challenges that come with practicing medicine and the intrigue of bettering the lives of others are what make becoming a physician such a noble pursuit. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Cape Coast with Ankoor and Dr. Arunabh Talwar in order to learn about Ghanaian culture, and medicine from a global health perspective. “