Eastern Students Enjoy Field Course in Ghana, West Africa

Students enjoyed playing with this group of the children in Asamang, where Health Sciences Professor Yaw Nsiah’s compound is located. Students said the children were always so happy and photogenic.

Written by Dwight Bachman

In late May 2018, Eastern students traveled to Ghana, West Africa with Lecturer Shelly Gimenez of the Department of Health Sciences.The group was hosted by the Rural Health Project Africa, an NGO involved with enhancing the health of rural Ghanaians through prevention and control education. The students who participated in Ghanaian culture in the town of Agona-Asamang in Ghana’s Ashanti region.

After landing in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, students snack before a delicious meal at Professor Yaw Nsiah’s compound.

To start their field experience, the Eastern students arrived in Ashanti, Ghana, where they visited shrines, clinics, hospitals, schools, an orphanage and a water treatment plant to learn firsthand about the nation’s health care and public health systems.

Students visited the Baby Well Clinic at Mampong Hospital, where they watched hospital staff ensure that babies from the surrounding villages are healthy and up to date on their shots. The mothers were all very willing to let the students hold and comfort their babies, while they waited for their turn.

At Mampong Hospital in rural Agona, students participated in hospital rounds; observed in the operating theater; conducted well baby clinics; participated in the Maternal and Child Health Clinic; conducted patient intakes; and gained valuable experience in the Emergency Room.

Students visit the third largest water treatment plant in Ghana, comparing it to water treatment in the U.S.

The students also visited disease control units and compared health care in Ghana with health systems in the United States. They interacted with students at the Withrow University College, a public health tertiary institution founded by Nsiah, who chairs Eastern’s Department of Health Sciences.

After visiting a Ghanaian funeral, students returned to the family member’s house and had a party because in Ghana, they celebrate the life of the person that died rather than morn their loss.

In addition to the students’ time with Ghana’s healthcare and public health systems, they experienced the Ashanti culture by living in the Rural Health Project facility in the rural African village of Assamang.

Weekends were spent visiting historical sites, including the Mole National game reserve at Kintampo Falls, where they saw an elephant preserve and a monkey preserve.

Students enjoying a cool day in the water at the Kintampo Waterfalls, where they saw some of Ghana’s natural beauty and made friends with local villagers.

Students visit a monkey preserve near  the Mole National Game Reserve near Kintampo Falls.

They also visited surrounding villages and markets, Kakum Rainforest, Cape Coast, the Elmina Slave Castle and a “prayer mountain,” a sacred place of worship in Ghana.