Midwifery Internship in Ghana - Takoradi
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Midwifery Internship in Ghana - Takoradi

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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Work the World provided me with a fantastic placement

After a few months planning my midwifery internship with the team in the UK, I was jetting off to Ghana. I was so excited on the plane, and kept having to pinch myself to make sure it was really happening. When I arrived it was late, dark, hot and my luggage took AGES to arrive. I thought I was going to be lost in Ghana on my own. But no, the Work the World team were there waiting for me. It was so reassuring!

So, my internship…

I spent 2 weeks at one of Ghana's regional hospitals in Takoradi. It was a large hospital—one of the most developed in the region. Even here, the incidence of postpartum haemorrhage is extremely high. Grand multiparity and anaemia appeared to contribute significantly to the incidence of postpartum haemorrhage. The number of eclampsia cases is also high. I personally witnessed two eclamptic fits on the same day within the space of a few hours. No analgesia is offered in labour. Nitrous Oxide is not available and there is no Pethidine stocked in maternity. Only Paracetamol may be offered if a woman is in pain following a traumatic delivery - for example in the instance of perineal trauma. If the woman has no purified water with her for administration of analgesia then family must be contacted to buy some, the hospital cannot provide it.

Women are required to provide their own polythene sheet for delivery, as well as 2 cotton sheets for the bed and 2 sheets for the baby. One sheet she would deliver on, the other is used to cover the floor mattress / bed in the postnatal ward. On admission the expectant mother would make her own bed up for delivery, the sheets are arranged very much in a similar way to how we do here. It wasn't a sterile environment for delivery, but it was the best method available.

Noise in labour is discouraged as it may distress labouring women in the same room. It is not uncommon to see a midwife shout at a mother if she makes noise. The midwife often will nudge the woman and give her a stern talking to; the women rarely make a sound after that. It is important to remember that this is the way midwifery is practiced in Ghana, and the culture in Ghana as in many other countries, is different to the United Kingdom.

Talking with the local midwives, we noticed many differences and equally as many similarities between Midwifery in the United Kingdom and Ghana which we all found interesting. It was insightful to be able to experience firsthand where these differences occur and the theory behind it. It was a situation where we could educate one another. The most valuable lesson I brought back, is that you can only do what you are equipped and trained to do at that time. So long as you know that you did your best, even if that was just holding somebody's hand you cannot fault your actions.

Work the World provided me with a fantastic placement. It met my criteria and learning objectives perfectly. I learnt more than I could ever imagined.