First Week in Ghana! | #1

I am writing this as I am concluding the final day of my first week in here in Ghana, and I never want to leave! From the moment we got off our flight in Accra I knew I was going to love this place. The people are pretty hospitable. Everyone has so far been eager to share must see places in Kumasi and Ghana. I am truly grateful for this experience and look forward to meeting the mothers apart of our study and am eager to experience the Ghanaian culture.

For a bit of context, I will be working in two hospitals in Kumasi for the next three months and will be helping collect data for project that involves infant malnutrition of low birth weight infants and follow-up care. Each woman will be assigned to one of four groups, each with different check-up intervals with a year timespan. We will be administering a survey to each woman at each subsequent follow-up and check the development of the child with weight, head circumference, length, and an exam to screen for different illnesses that the child may have contracted. We will track the development of the child for up to a year of age. Although I will not be here for the one-year check-ups, I hope to see the infants growing well during the three-month follow-ups.

Adjusting I have only been here for a week and feel like I have learned so much about the culture and health here in Ghana. From the visit of history museum to the little snippets of Twi that those around us have been teaching us, and I hope to learn a lot more from those who are willing to share. Earlier today in a conversation with Ben, a research assistant here, we learned about how cases of HIV have increased in Ghana over the past few years. Public information on these topics fascinate me, and I hope to learn more about health in Ghana.

Highlights of the week include meeting medical superintendent at Suntreso (the head of the hospital), getting to meet our team, visiting the museum, going out with Ben and his brother accompanied with the best kabobs I’ve ever had, and seeing our adorable first pediatric patient.

The medical superintendent was very welcoming. He told us all about Ghana and must do things. The medical superintendent gave us tips on how to survive in Ghana and made me feel very safe and welcomed in the hospital and the country. He even has connections with the Ashanti king and told us if we ever have problems with anyone to show them his business card with the royal emblem. Small things like this just made me feel so welcomed in this wonderful country. And I look forward to the next three months!

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