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Medicine volunteers in Ghana give hospital paediatric unit a new look

rojects Abroad Care volunteer from Australia, Jodi Kane, contributes to a Cape Coast Teaching Hospital patient’s surgery in Accra, Ghana

Projects Abroad Medicine volunteers in Ghana have partnered with the Francis Eshun Baidoo (FEB) Foundation to paint the paediatric unit of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital.

The hospital’s paediatric unit receives surgical, orthopaedic and general medical cases affecting children within the Central Region of Ghana. The hospital is a major referral hospital for clinics and hospitals within the region and acts as a teaching hospital for medical students from the University of Cape Coast.

Dr Francis Eshun Baidoo, a paediatrician at the unit and founder of FEB Foundation, was happy to partner with Projects Abroad and is optimistic that the fresh coat of paint will bring new life to the paediatric ward. Dr Baidoo explained the walls of the paediatric ward did not have bright colours. For children, colours have an effect on their wellbeing and therefore it was good to paint the walls and put child-friendly decorations on them. When we do things like this, the children feel much better.”

The kind of assistance that Projects Abroad volunteers provide the unit is varied. “Projects Abroad Ghana is a very good organisation which has helped the paediatric unit a lot,” remarked Dr Baidoo. “May was ‘Children’s Month’ at the FEB Foundation and we worked on a nutritional project with Projects Abroad volunteers. The volunteers help the unit in many ways – logistically, financially and in terms of expertise.”

One of the paediatric patients was admitted to Cape Coast Teaching Hospital after suffering intestinal burns as a result of drinking caustic soda. Due to the extent of his burns, he is unable to eat through his mouth and therefore has been feeding through a gastric feeding tube in his stomach. Projects Abroad volunteer, Jodi Kane, was touched by the boy’s story and decided to pay half of the $1,400 hospital bill.

“It means a lot to me to do whatever we can. Back home in Australia, we are very lucky to have what we have. I do not see these types of issues at home and I don’t face them every day. Here, it’s really heart-breaking because people have to wait for months and months and have to raise funds for treatment. So when I see something like this, I definitely want to help,” she said.

Projects Abroad Volunteers paint the paediatric ward at Cape Coast Teaching Hospital in Ghana

Jodi, who has been volunteering at a Care placement, has planned to escort the boy to his surgery in Ghana’s capital, Accra – a two-hour bus ride from Cape Coast. “I think it’s important to see what you are doing and see if you are making a difference. We work hard to get the money back home so it’s important to see what it is used for. I just want to see a smile on the little boy’s face. I have to be by his side and hold his hands and see if he’s okay.”

The Principal Nursing Officer of the paediatric unit, Jane Adjoa Doku, was full of gratitude for the amazing work Projects Abroad volunteers have been doing for the unit. “We are very grateful to the volunteers… they have been helping us a lot. Some take the vitals of the children, others take cases to the surgical theatre and x-ray laboratory. Projects Abroad volunteers are doing a really good job.”

Find out more about volunteering on a Medicine Project in Ghana.

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