by Work the World

Our first pharmacists have just returned from the Village Healthcare Experience in Ghana.

Last year, Saskatchewen University in Canada contacted us to arrange an overseas placement option for their students. We were able to create a placement tailored to their needs in Ghana. All three students have had an amazing time working at the government hospital in Takoradi, but the cherry on the top of the cake was the Village Healthcare Experience.

We offer all of our students the opportunity to sign up for a Village Healthcare Experience, giving them the chance to experience the delivery of rural healthcare firsthand. It really complements the hospital placement and provides a broader vision of global healthcare. But how would it work for the pharmacists? We asked for feedback...

How did you find your Village Healthcare Experience?

 It was the greatest learning experience of my life! I feel that I was exposed to a typical rural Ghanaian lifestyle and appreciated the opportunity to live a week in those shoes. I enjoyed being challenged in choosing treatments for patients after examining them. The clinic staff were a wonderfiul source of encouragement and support.

How did you find the afternoon activities?

There was a good variety of exciting activities. I especially enjoyed the trip fishing. Jeph, our Work the World guide, was extremely friendly and encouraged our participation and feedback throughout the week.

How did you find life with a host family?

We were very well fed and the food was delicious!

We also spoke to Joe, our Ghana Programme Manager about how the students got on with their actual placement:

What did the students do on placement?

They were able to do almost all it entails in a pharmacy placement- dispensing in different areas of the hospital; ward rounds in the Surgical department, O and G and the General medical wards; working at the main dispensary and antenatal dispensary; joined in the HIV clinic with the pharmacist; done two days of local production of paracetamol and trisilicate and experienced how a community pharmacy is operated. They felt part of the team as they could ask and answer questions and also interact with patients. The staff were all very accommodating and willing to help when ever necessary, and they got to experience many things which they don't get to do back at home as well as learn new methods.

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