Today was our first proper day. Me and hass are going to embrace a Ghana diet. Therefore we are going to come back skinny. Call it Ghanas biggest loser or something..
Community outreach was an experience. When we arrived there were probably about 100 people from the village waiting for us to arrive. The clinic only comes every 3 months. We went to meet the chief medical officer to ask permission for allowing us in the village. We then set up.
I began shadowing on consultations where a nurse listened and diagnosed. My job was to write down what was being said (after it was translated). It was pretty difficult as i had to learn abbreviations they use ad the drug names. It was really interesting. Most people had malaria. I learnt alot of medical terminology and it was pretty cool understanding the cause and action of disease which were being explained to me. I identified some of the symptoms as attributed to diseases and a lot of the time i was correct.
After consultations i spent the rest of the day taking blood pressure. I thought itd get repetitive but i enjoyed communicating with people who dont speak a word of english. I tried to say hi, bye and thank you in ewe which is the local language and i got a few smiles. Some of the blood pressures were real high - 210/189. The number actually jad meaning to me as i now know all about blood pressure. I also really enjoyed teaching the other volunteers how totake blood pressure manually. Teaching in that manner is something i really enjoy. I liked watching them then able to take accurate blood pressure. Its only a simple skill but it meant they could take part in the blood pressure station. My arm was a little numb after everyone practicing on me though. Haha
At this outreach i only sat on consulting and blood pressure as not many people could do blood pressure and so i am looking forward to the next outreach.
All the way through i kept looking at the queue of people. The amount of time people waited for very simple diagnostic and simple treatment was pretty striking. People were very nice but very desperate for healthcare.
A lady appeared at the end of the day who was 88. She has asthma and felt ill. She couldn't afford to go to hospital and she didn't want to die. Richard asked why she was scared as she was old and i felt real sad to hear that. She has every right to be scared and i wish she could be treated until no more could be done. If thats what she wants- then thats what she deserves. I find it hard to accept healthcare as a western luxury and not a right.
In the evening we went to the local bar. I got bit alot by mosquitos who just cannot get enough of me. We tried 80% cardinal alcohol. Yolo and all that.. Alex told me about his blow up whale called flappy and it was a funny evening. Starting to get to know the group better now which is lovely.