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Tips On Finding a Doctor in Ghana

Doctors in Ghana
Doctors in Ghana | © Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti/U.S. Army Africa / Flickr
All over Ghana, each major city has at least one main healthcare facility. Smart startups are also connecting efficient healthcare provision to grassroot communities. Here we take a look at healthcare information for travelers and the varied means of locating a doctor in Ghana.

In recent times, the biggest news in terms of healthcare in Ghana and the West African community in general, featured the first ever African Eco-Medical Village set up in Accra on 41-acres of Achimota-West Legon land.

Nurses Conducting a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in Ghana © Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti

Emergency healthcare

Both government and private healthcare facilities assist in medical emergencies. Mostly the best are concentrated in large cities, while rural areas have less well-equipped setups. The best hospitals in Accra are 37 Military Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Outside Accra, Sunyani Regional Hospital, Ho Royal Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Tamale Teaching Hospital, and Cape Coast’s Central Regional Hospital, are available. Excellent trained dentists give the best dental care at Beaver Dental Clinic at Airport Residential Clinic. Emergency contacts are; police: 191; fire: 192; and ambulance: 193.

What to do if you lose vital medication

While traveling on vacation or for business in Ghana, you suddenly realize your medications are missing, what do you do? Don’t panic. Missing medication could be a minor issue for some but for others it can be life threatening. One important thing is that the name of a drug bought in another country may be identical to the name on prescriptions locally, but the drug may have a different active ingredient or differ in dosage, which could cause harm. Contact a health practitioner immediately, and talk to the local embassy representing your country for help in such cases. Even before you travel, prepare a simple travel medical portfolio to ensure that you have the vital information you need, including your doctor’s contact, current prescription and health insurance info. Also, file a police report and be sure to keep a copy, since you’ll need it for travel insurance claims.

Healthcare apps

Ghanaian startups are on the rise and so are tech utilities for healthcare. One is Kenko Doctor; an Uber-like app by the e-health startup Eiko Health. Mpharma connects patients, healthcare providers and drug manufacturers for innovative solutions that make drugs accessible and affordable for patients across Africa. ClaimSync is an end-to-end claims processing platform; it enables hospitals and other healthcare providers to easily prepare medical claims and send them electronically to health insurance companies.

Traditional healthcare

The World Health Organization estimates that 80 per cent of Africans make use of traditional healthcare. In Ghana, the ratio of one medically-trained doctor per 1,200 patients and one traditional medicine practitioner per 400 patients, reveals that traditional medicine is integral. For equitable healthcare delivery goals, the government has to recognize and integrate traditional health practices into the formal healthcare systems.

Volunteering doctors in Ghana

Projects Abroad has a volunteer medical project which depends on the skills of qualified doctors in hospitals and clinics around Ghana to ease the workload and provide training. Volunteer doctors may be based in Accra, the Akuapem Hills, or Cape Coast and work in hospitals varying in size and facilities. Generally, these health centres are not as well equipped as facilities in developed countries. Qualified health practitioners with the relevant licence to practice in search of volunteer work abroad or doctors on a career break could make use of this opportunity. Accommodation is provided by a host family.

Volunteering doctors share best practices to improve medical treatment processes © Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti/U.S. Army Africa

Tips

The only required immunization is for yellow fever; others are optional. Malaria medication is important since the disease exists in the sub region. Some recommended vaccinations counter hepatitis A and B, meningococcal meningitis and typhoid fever. There are other risks due to air pollution, as well as traveler’s diarrhoea. In terms of language, English is used and easily understood almost everywhere. Due to long waiting and queues in packed hospital outpatient departments, you should arrive some time before appointments.