Medical Mission Trip to Ghana 2017
MAKE IT A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION – A MEDICAL MISSION IN 2017!
The New Year is just a few days away as of this writing, and I bet most readers are considering New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions, goals, or intentions figure large in our minds, as we take a moment to look over the year that’s passing into memory, and look forward with anticipation to the year to come. If your thoughts are going toward ways you can use your healing gifts in service, allow me to suggest the possibility of exotic travel and service to some of the world’s poorest people, all rolled into one! My partner Godfried Agbezudor and I are co-directors of a U.S. registered 501c3 non-profit organization, “Healthy Villages, Inc.” and together, we organize and lead humanitarian missions in Ghana, West Africa as part of our overall organizational mission. In October 2016, we partnered with Show Me Your Stethoscope (SMYS) to bring a group of eight volunteer RNs, Nurse Practitioners, and one all-around helper (husband of one of the RNs) to Ghana for a medical mission that served over 800 poor villagers in five days. You can read all about the mission, as well as the other work we have planned, on the Healthy Villages website blog (http://healthyvillages.weebly.com). Healthy Villages and SMYS will be teaming up again to organize two nursing missions to Ghana – in April and October/November 2017. Here’s the lowdown:
Villagers wait patiently for their number to be called (October, 2016)
Both missions are 15 days in length from date of departure to date of arrival back in the U.S. (13 days in-country). In-country cost to nurses will be $2000 USD. Pre-travel costs (passport, visa, malaria prophylactic medication, yellow fever vaccine and other immunizations as desired, and traveler’s insurance) will be approximately $400. Airfare to Ghana ranges from around $1000 to $1600 from most places in the US. Volunteers will be expected to do their own fundraising to cover part (or all) of these costs. Healthy Villages, Inc. will provide information to assist in this effort. Nurses should also plan to pay for any miscellaneous items like souvenirs, beverages other than water, and food other than that provided as part of the package.
We request a $200 non-refundable deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from your total in-country cost. You will receive information on important dates and deadlines when you register for the trip!
Healthy Villages will organize travel – if we have a group of at least 10 nurses we can get a group airfare rate from Delta (the group needs to leave from the same airport in the U.S). We will also assist with visas and other pre-travel arrangements. Once you arrive in Ghana, your ground transportation, lodging, food, and other needs will be taken care of. We also organize the mission itself, in conjunction with the Ghana Health Service.
We include several “rest days” to take in cultural sites of interest (or just to rest up from the hot, hectic days in clinic). Godfried is a native of Dogbekope Village in the Volta Region of Ghana, where we will be based, and is an expert in African history, culture, and spirituality. He loves to answer questions and share information, and our volunteers learn a lot!
A procession of Voodoo priestesses in a local village – a real treat for our volunteers to see them!
The two missions have a different focus – here are the details about each:
APRIL 2017 MISSION – April 11 – 25 (inclusive of date of departure from the U.S. and date of arrival back in the U.S.):
This will be a general health mission. We expect to see at least 1000 people over the course of six clinic days, male and female, ranging in age from infant to elderly. The health conditions will range from aches and pains, to severe, life threatening problems. We will be testing for illnesses such as malaria, STIs, and HIV and providing treatment free of charge (or referring the patient to the Ghana Health Service for long-term treatment). We will have a pharmacy on hand to dispense medications. We work in conjunction with the Ghana Health Service, and GHS personnel will be with us to assist in making diagnoses, as some of the conditions will be unfamiliar to the volunteers. We will have interpreters who speak the local language to work alongside our nurses. Please see the Healthy Villages, Inc. website blog for “daily diary” entries from one of the nurses on our October 2016 mission, which will give you an idea what to expect!
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 WOMEN’S HEALTH MISSION – October 21 – November 4 (inclusive of date of departure from the U.S. and date of arrival back in the U.S.):
This mission will be focused on women’s health, and will run in conjunction with another Healthy Villages, Inc. project to distribute 500 kits of washable and reusable sanitary products to poor girls and women in villages who have no access to disposable menstrual pads. We are partnering with another U.S. non-profit, Women To Be, for this effort. Women To Be has taken 2000 kits to Nepal and Guatemala, and this will be their first such mission to the African continent. As part of this project, we will also be conducting informal classes to share information about menstruation, family planning, reproduction, and sexuality.
We expect to see at least 500 adolescent girls and women in the health mission clinic. We will be primarily focused on testing for pregnancy, STIs, HIV, and providing appropriate medications and referrals for continuing treatment to the Ghana Health Service. Women presenting with other (general) medical problems will also be served. Women will receive advice and counseling regarding their ob/gyn health needs.
Nurses and nurse practitioners with a specialty in women’s health are especially encouraged to apply!
Kids enjoying the social scene at the clinic – having American visitors is a real cause for excitement in a small village!
To apply to the trip please create your profile on HireNurses.com and send us a message directly! This helps us keep everything organized and we will contact you back! Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!