the service I’ve been waiting for…

Hello everyone! I first studied abroad as a 20 year old undergraduate in 2004. I volunteered at a hospital while I was a student at the University of Ghana in Legon just outside of the capital city Accra. This was a small hospital, with a few wards and a few doctors. The only specialist there was a pediatrician, and every day she saw all of the children. Everyone else was a general practitioner with 1 year of internship then on the job training. I remember watching the long queues of people lined up every morning to see the 4 doctors and could only imagine what it would be like to be that one pediatrician. Today, I got goose bumps when one of the other 3 doctors at Port Antonio health department told me I was the only pediatrician there today. Since I left Ghana 10 years ago, I have thought a lot about global health. I thought about how to make a real impact, I’ve thought about the ways that sometimes well intentioned people with resources such as myself can sometimes be a burden as we try to help. This program is truly done well. My stay is not a burden on any person since no one has to feed me and house me. I am working under the auspices of the public medical system, so if I get Dengue fever and am down for the count there is always a doctor who can see the babies and we are reiterating continuity and the importance of using the medical system. Since Diane tries her hardest to get 1-2 pediatricians here every month there is some consistency and I can make a plan for 3 months from now that I can pass on to another team. There is bi-directional learning. I’m so proud to be here, and to be a part of this program.

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