Ghana Medical Trip
November 12th-24th, 2023
Greetings from Rebecca
I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me on this medical outreach to Ghana! We’ve put together a detailed information package for you; if you have any questions, please feel free to email us, particularly if you have access to any medical or dental supplies. I look forward to working with you.
Dr. Rebecca Kruisselbrink
About International Needs
Medical Outreaches to Ghana
Nutrition Pilot Program 2023
Program at a Glance
About the Clinics
The Medical Team
Past Ghana Trip Video
A Few Important Rules
About International Needs
International Needs Canada is a global non-denominational Christian development organization that promotes health, nutrition, education, and community development. Our programs include child sponsorship, schools, feeding programs, healthcare, clean water projects, and more. Key to the success and sustainability of these initiatives is a strong partnership with each partner country and ownership of each initiative BY the partner country.
Medical Outreaches to Ghana
Canadian Medical team visits are an integral part of ongoing medical care in rural areas of Ghana. During the trip, this team will provide primary care to school children and their families in communities that have little access to healthcare. We coordinate with Ghana’s ministry of health, local public health officials, and local health care practitioners to provide this care, plus education, screening, prophylaxis, treatment, and where necessary, referral to a hospital. Medical outreaches have taken place in Ghana’s Volta Region on average every six months since 2005, with collaboration between International Needs Ghana, Canada, and the USA.
Nutrition Pilot Program Starting in 2023
Good nutrition is fundamental to a child’s education, health, and general well-being. During past medical outreaches in Ghana, medical teams have observed symptoms of widespread malnutrition within the Volta region. As one part of our upcoming medical outreaches in 2023 and 2024, we will also be piloting a new program targeting nutrition at two schools that have a high prevalence of malnutrition. The goal is to demonstrate that a targeted focus on nutrition will make a significant impact on the students’ health and educational outcomes.
- The program will begin with IN Canada’s medical outreach in November 2023.
- The teams will screen all students from K through grade 9 and provide medical care, deworming pills, and nutritional supplements, with a special focus on malnourished school children.
- Over the next two years, IN Ghana and the visiting medical teams will closely monitor the students’ progress in height, weight, and health.
- IN Ghana will also provide tailored education among students, parents, and nutrition officers to promote awareness of good nutrition.
- By the end of 2024, the program will turn to sustainment. In this phase, IN Ghana will help households, schools, and communities develop livelihood support programs, fruit and vegetable gardens, and WASH programs where necessary (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).
We believe these actions will collectively produce significant results by the end of the two years. If the outcomes are as expected, IN Ghana will then apply the focus on nutrition as a core part of its broader medical program.
The Program at a Glance
Our typical trip includes:
- One day of orientation and travel into the Volta Region.
- Eight or nine school and community visits and clinics.
- One day of relaxation mid-trip to showcase some of Ghana’s natural beauty, with time to shop for souvenirs in the capital city prior to departure.
About the Clinics
Clinics are organized at schools operated by International Needs. The students clear out the classrooms and set up space for intake, physician consultation, distribution of meds, and education. On a given day we may see 200-400 individuals, depending on the size and needs of the community. We will be joined by public health officials, local nurses, pharmacists, and Ghanaian physicians, many of whom are recipients of the International Needs’ medical student sponsorship program. Mentoring is another aspect of our work on medical outreaches – by supporting future medical professionals, it’s our hope that our impact will be sustainable long beyond our visit.
The Medical Team
Typically, the Canadian team includes 2-4 physicians, 3-4 nurses, and 2-4 allied health providers and volunteers. Your role will depend on your area of skill or interest.
- Physicians: you will be working in the consultation area
- Nurses: We often find great demand for your expertise in the medication area.
- Pharmacist: you will be in charge of the medical supplies and distributing medication
- Allied health professionals: Social workers, dietitians, and physio / occupational / respiratory therapists, – your areas of specialty are always needed!
- Non-medical volunteers: If you have a heart to help children and their families, we will gladly find some enjoyable and rewarding tasks for you too!
Medical supplies and medicines will be coordinated by Dr. Rebecca Kruisselbrink. If you have access to any of these supplies, please let us know.
Past Ghana Trip Video
|Included in your price||Not Included|
|Round-trip air transportation from Toronto||Add-on fares from other cities (available for an extra cost)|
|Airport transfers||Tourist visa for Ghana|
|All on-ground transportation||Personal items|
|Accommodations listed in the itinerary||Tips|
|Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner||Meals and beverages while in transit|
|Sightseeing activities listed in the itinerary||Cancellation and medical insurance|
|Taxes and service charges for the above||Extra baggage charges|
|Travel vaccinations and medications|
|Professional fees to practice medicine in Ghana|
- $500 non-refundable deposit is due with your application (per person)
- $1,500 is due by September 1st, 2023
- $3,800 is due 30 days before departure
Note: Prices are guaranteed only with full payment, as taxes and fuel surcharges can be added by airlines until full payment is received.
- Send cheques to our office
- Set up a fundraising page on JustGiving and submit your payments by donating to your campaign. Every time you donate, you will receive an electronic tax receipt by email.
- Contact us by phone to make other arrangements 1-888-702-9805 or 905-389-1118.
Set up a fundraising page on JustGiving so you can encourage your friends and family to support your trip! They will receive separate tax receipts for any amount above $20 they donate through your page.
The entire trip is tax-deductible since International Needs Canada is a charitable organization. International Needs provides tax receipts for all funds donated to your trip. Receipts will be issued immediately for any gifts made through Just Giving. For any donations made through the International Needs Canada office, you will receive a consolidated tax receipt in February 2024.
Please visit your health care provider or travel clinic well in advance of your departure date to receive the required vaccinations and medications for the country(ies) you’ll be visiting. Visit the government website for recommended and required immunizations by country.
You will need a valid passport that expires no sooner than six months after the date of your return. If your passport has less than six months left until expiration, most countries do not allow you to travel. To avoid travel restrictions, we advise you to renew your passport well in advance.
Ghana requires all visitors to present a tourist visa to enter the country. The cost to you is approximately $100 CAD. We will send you Visa application details once your flight is booked.
You must purchase extended medical insurance over and above provincial coverage, unless you have extended health coverage from your place of employment. A package including cancellation, medical, and COVID coverage is usually less expensive.
As we will be visiting children, you will need to:
1) Sign and return a copy of our Child Protection Policy.
2) Submit a valid police check. Please visit your local police services or submit your request online through www.backcheck.net/inc/.
Climate in Ghana
Ghana has a tropical climate with warm to hot weather year-round. The dry season begins in October, with average temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Everyone on the team will have a translator during the clinics, as many of the patients do not speak English.
- Clothing (see dress code below)
- Comfortable footwear
- Medications – Important: all medications for personal use need to be packed in your hand luggage in their original containers.
- Personal items
- Small items to entertain the kids at the clinic e.g. bubbles, soccer balls & pump, stickers, paint
International flights typically allow 2 bags with a maximum weight of 23kg (50 lbs) each. We will confirm the specific limit for this trip at a later date.
- On past trips, we’ve asked some of our team members to bring an additional bag with medical supplies for the clinics.
- We have experienced delays with luggage transfer, so we recommend you pack essential toiletries and 2-3 days’ worth of clothing in your carry-on luggage.
We advise extreme caution when consuming tap water, ice cubes, and fresh produce that would have been washed with local water, which is often taken from wells and not treated thoroughly. Do not use tap water for brushing your teeth. Drink bottled water and beverages only after checking for a proper seal.
All meals will be provided except while in transit. Alcoholic beverages are not included.
It is appropriate to leave $1 US a day for the cleaning staff at your hotel. If your luggage is brought to your room, tip $1 US per bag. This is their livelihood, so give them the opportunity to carry your bag.
230 Volts – you will need an outlet adaptor D or G if you plan to charge your phone or use any electrical devices from home.
A Few Important Rules
Many places we visit have an expectation of modesty when it comes to clothing and appearance. Here are some guidelines:
- Long pants only (no shorts in public)
- No spaghetti straps or revealing tops
- Modest dress is recommended for clinics and visits to villages or schools
- Skirts need to cover at least down to the knee
- Capris and pants are fine
- Skirt or dress when attending a church service
- Do not wear flashy jewelry, which may be offensive to the disadvantaged people we will meet.
Please do not photograph people without first asking their permission to do so. Sometimes a small tip is appropriate, though not at the school and villages where we are visiting. Do NOT take photos in airports or customs and immigration areas.
International Needs has a strict policy on gift-giving. Many of our trip participants want to bring gifts and other items so they can make a bigger difference in the communities we visit. Thank you for your heart and generosity! However, these gifts often have unintended negative consequences. Therefore, all gifts must be approved in advance. Feel free to request a copy of the gift policy.
Deposits and payments are 100% non-refundable at all times or as stated in the terms provided by the airlines. We highly recommend you purchase cancellation insurance to cover yourself in case of illness to you or a member of your immediate family.
International Needs and the Travel Agent have made arrangements and act solely as agents for such services and cannot be held responsible for the acts or omissions on the part of suppliers. They are not liable for any injury, damage, default of any firm or person engaged in conveying passengers, carrying out travel arrangements, strikes, war, or any other causes beyond their control.
More About Ghana
Capital City: Accra
Official Language: English
Population: 31 million
Main religions: Christianity, Islam, and Indigenous traditions
The Republic of Ghana is centrally located on the West African coast. It has a total land area of 238,537 square km, and is bordered by three French-speaking countries: Togo, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire on the west. The Gulf of Guinea lies to the south and stretches across the 560km coastline.
Ghana has a tropical climate with temperatures and rainfall patterns that vary according to distance from the coast and elevation. The average annual temperature is about 26oC (79oF). There are two distinct rainy seasons in the southern and middle parts of the country, from April to June and September to November.
Ghana has a population of approximately 31 million people with an average life expectancy of 61 years. Of these 31 million people, tens of thousands die every year from common diseases.
In recent years, Ghana has made improvements in its national health, such as the reduction of infant mortality. While the health of its people continues to improve, there are still many serious illnesses that affect the people of Ghana, such as lower-respiratory infections, Malaria, HIV/ AIDS, and other diseases
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 90% of the population in Ghana lacks adequate toilet facilities. This leads to a high incidence of infections linked to contaminated water, such as diarrheal illnesses and bilharzia /schistosomiasis.
Over the past 20 years, International Needs Canada and its partner International Needs Ghana have worked collaboratively to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children in rural communities in Ghana.