A Group of American students on a study visit to Ghana have offered healthcare services, including screening and donations, to some communities and health facilities in the country.
The students donated diapers, mosquito nets, pillows, bed sheets, toilet rolls and other items at a cost of Ghc5,000 to HIV/AIDS patients at the Fevers Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
They also donated stethoscopes, bandages, isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, blood pressure cuff and other medical supplies to a Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compound at Ayikuma in the Shai-Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region where they also constructed a child welfare clinic shed.
Furthermore, the students organised health screening exercise for residents of Alikope and Fiankonya, both in the Shai-Osudoku District.
At the Akropong School for the Deaf in the Eastern Region, they painted the administration block of the Demonstration School (primary department) and donated indoor games to the senior high school department.
Ghana’s healthcare system
The students, made up of three graduates and 18 undergraduates from the Northeastern University, Boston, were taken through lectures on Ghana’s healthcare system.
The experiences gained from the one-month education tour would form part of their academic assessment.
They were led by Dr Vanessa Johnson, an Associate Professor and Director of the College Student Development & Counselling Programme of the Department of Counselling & Applied Education Psychology, Northeastern University.
“They love the people here. They all talk about how great everybody is. Everybody they meet, it seems they want to take them back to America, whether it’s a child or the professionals; they just love everybody,” she said in an interview.
Dr Vanessa is already thinking of something bigger and better next year with a promise to bring more medical and education supplies for donation to needy institutions.
“Next year, I hope to do more; I hope to bring more stuff,” she promised.
Experiences of students
Clare Einberger, a Psychology and Pre-Medicine student, was struck by what she observed at health facilities they visited, particularly, the care health workers had for their patients and the well-being of the entire community.
“I think that in America, sometimes we put money first. But we’ve seen time and again here that people put their communities, families and friends ahead of money and just work so hard for the benefit of others,” she said.
Like her other colleagues, Leona Lee, a second-year Biology student, who was visiting Ghana for the first time and had to adjust to a cultural shock.