WHY we need you in Ghana
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: PHYSIOTHERAPY INTERNSHIP
LOCATION: ACCRA, GHANA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: 4 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: QUALIFIED PHYSIOTHERAPIST/MIN 2ND YEAR STUDENT
Participate in important community and sports development work, on this physiotherapy placement in Ghana. You will deliver hands-on aid and care that is usually inaccessible to many injured locals, as well as dedicated local athletes. You will gain a better awareness of the hurdles many physiotherapists and medical professionals need to overcome in developing countries, whilst at the same time receive valuable advice and knowledge on local practices. This is a great opportunity to further your own skills and be put to the test!
The community clinic is understaffed and underfunded. Many of the patients’ conditions reflect the problems in Ghana: many strokes due to hypertension, car accidents, and a high level of crush injuries to the hand and tendons from cutting and grinding machinery. A hand injury in Ghana typically means no compensation and no income. Those that can afford the two-pound fee per session can receive the needed treatment, but many just simply cannot afford this. There is also a lot of facial palsy from otitis media, which is treated with electrical stimulation. The clinic does have equipment, including a hydrotherapy pool, but it has a good distance to go before the clinic can cope with the needs of the local community.
You will need to be self-motivated and prepared for some long and challenging days. However, as a qualified physiotherapist, you really can make a positive impact to a frequently neglected area of medical care.
The physiotherapy project requires physiotherapists who are already qualified or who have some prior experience in the area (at least to second year degree standard). Physiotherapists work in two main areas in Ghana: clinical and sports institutions.
*Please be advised that you will be responsible for your daily transportation costs to and from your program. This could range from 2.50 to 4.40 USD each day.
Ghana’s largest and capital city is Accra and has a population of over two million. Accra is situated on Ghana’s coast in the South of the country. Your accommodation is located in Teshie, a coastal and suburban town on the Eastern outskirts of Accra. It’s a fast-developing town and growing every day. There is a train station close in the town for convenience.
- Get hands on, treating patients through physiotherapy
- Further your skills and gain valuable knowledge on Ghanaian healthcare
- Assist local clinics and sport organizations, as well as treat injured athletes
Food & Accommodation
Your accommodation in Ghana is situated at our volunteer centre in Accra. The accommodation is located within a gated community. Rooms are generally dorm rooms, with separate bedrooms for male and female. Volunteer projects are situated around 20 to 40 minutes away and you will be responsible for your own transportation costs to and from the project. Staff will be on site at the accommodation 7 days a week to assist with anything you need.
Your accommodation is close by any amenities you need, the closest shops are within a 15-20-minute walk. ATM machine is 15 minutes away by taxi. Restaurants and bars are a 20-minute taxi ride away.
Your meals will be Ghanaian dishes mixed with Western style food, served at your accommodation. Typical Ghanaian food include rice dishes, beans, fruits, vegetables, chicken, beef and fish. They are typically stews and soups.
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
If you are already a qualified physiotherapist then yes absolutely! This project would also be great for those who are studying physiotherapy (min second year completed). You can gain some extra skills and practical experience of working in an overseas healthcare system.
Volunteers who are passionate about healthcare, giving back to others and are open to learning new things are encouraged to apply!
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Daily transportation to/from project site (approx US$3-4 p/day)
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
On the Monday of your first week, you will join our orientation day. This is a great opportunity to become familiarised with your surroundings, as well as facts about the local culture. Your project will continue as usual from Tuesday and throughout the week.
- Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
- Ghanaian Do’s and Don’ts, Ghanaian Culture Lessons and Language Lessons.
- Tour around the local area
- Drive into Accra to visit the museum and craft market, Independence Square and Oxford street.
- Visit local shops and amenities.
- Meet some of our academy athletes at our training centre, be introduced to a local school and help with the after school programme or visit some of the children we support in the local community.
Complimentary Arrival Transfer
An arrival airport transfer is included in the cost of your program fee for arrivals on Saturday or Sunday.
There are several ways to travel in Ghana, but beware not all drivers are licensed, in which case you’ll need to use your judgment before travelling. Find a driver who has insurance and registration stickers displayed on the windscreen and check the quality of the vehicle’s tyres- the majority of road accidents in Ghana are caused by tires in bad condition.
Buses are recommended for long distance journeys. They provide better safety, cost, speed and comfort, although you will have to pay a bit extra for luggage. Keep in mind that tickets for buses can be sold out, sometimes days in advance, so book your ticket ahead of time if possible. All taxis in Ghana have orange corners that can be easily recognised. The taxi’s may not have meters, or they may not use them, so be sure to haggle for the price before you get in. Generally, whatever the driver says the price is, ask for half that, and then negotiate from there.
- Orientation / Introduction
- Orientation / Introduction
Tuesday to Friday
- Physiotherapy clinics & in-field work
- Physiotherapy clinics & in-field work
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
There are plenty of things to do on your days off- here are just a few!
Cape Coast in Ghana has a colonial history, being the site at which many slaves were shipped over to the America’s. Michelle Obama is believed to have roots traced back here and herself and Barak Obama unveiled a plaque in their visit in 2009. Cape Cost is a fishing town, with a fort to look around and with an artsy vibe in the town centre. Many travellers use this location as a base to travel on to Kakum National Park.
Kakum National Park
Kakum National Park is a coastal rainforest covering an area of 357 kilometres. There are 40 species of monkey, 200 bird species and over 500 species of butterflies. The park is one of the most visited attractions in Ghana, with spectacular scenery and canopy walk for visitors.
Lake Volta is a picturesque man-made lake, just North from Accra. The building of the Akosombo Dam resulted in lake Volta being formed. You can take a boat tour across the lake or even try kayaking over it.
Elmina Castle is situated in the Cape Coast region of Ghana and it has a dark past. During the height of the slave trade around 33,00 slaves were held here, before being shipped off and out of Ghana. Slaves were kept captive and tortured at Elmina Castle, which was built by the Portuguese. You can visit here with a guided tour, that will give you a better understanding of Ghana’s past history.
Built by the British in 1925, Manhyia Palace was made to welcome back the ruler of the Asante state, after many years of banishment from the country. Rooms are still set up as they would have looked at the time, and you can book guided tours and watch a video presentation, explaining the palaces history. The small museum holds displays showing old royal objects, clothing, furniture and photographs.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
This is the site of the grave of Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Situated in the downtown area of Accra, this impressive sculpture is made entirely from Italian marble. Inside, you can see items and photos from the president and information about his life story. The monument is surrounded by water and looks particularly picturesque at sunset.
National Museum of Ghana
The National Museum has been open since 1957 and has three main display areas; art, archaeology and ethnography. The museum is located in Accra and has some interesting exhibits displaying Ghanaian culture and history.
This is where you can go for all your shopping and clothing needs. Accra mall is a large shopping centre that has clothes shops, a supermarket, restaurants and a cinema.
A great day trip from the city is Bojo beach, a large scenic beach, just 5 kilometres from Accra. Getting to the beach requires hopping on to a small boat over a small patch of water. Once here, you can relax and dine at one of the beach cafes. You can also try water sports such as jet skiing!
Aburi Botanical Gardens
Set amongst 160 acres, the beautiful Aburi Botanical Gardens are defiantly worth a visit, particularly for nature lovers. Situated around a 45 minute drive out of Accra, the gardens have a cooler climate and provide a peaceful escape from the city.
Anyone travelling to Ghana MUST have a yellow fever vaccination and must obtain a certificate as proof. You may be asked to produce this certificate at the point of entry into Ghana and can be refused entry if you don’t have one. There may be other vaccine recommendations listed that you may want/need to get before starting, so please ask your doctor before travel.
In order to be approved for this program, you will have at least studied for 2 years in a Physiotherapy post secondary school course.
Ghana is a multicultural country, situated in West Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the South and 3 other countries; Togo, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast. Ghana’s President runs as both the head of state and head of government. The economy here is now one of the strongest in Africa, utilizing a democratic political system, which has made Ghana a powerful country on the West side of Africa.
Ghana is known for its century old and lively culture, making it an exciting place to visit. Its diverse climate and ecosystem vary from coastal savannahs to tropical jungles. Once nicknamed as the gold coast, Ghana is the second largest producer of gold in Africa and today is also the second largest maker of coffee beans in the world.
Ghana is situated just a few degrees north of the Equator, making it a warm climate, but which is still relatively mild for its location There are two main seasons, however it’s generally hot and humid year-round. Rains usually last for a short time but can occasionally rain throughout the day. Temperatures on average are around 22-33°C.
Ghana has more than 100 ethnic groups living in the county. The largest are the Akan (45%), then Moshi-Dagbani (17%) and Ewe (14%). The Ashanti tribe of Akan are the largest tribe and one of the few groups in West Africa where ancestry is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors. The Ashanti tribe are known for their handicrafts, ceramics, weaving and wood carvings.
In Ghana, the family bond is very strong, with respect for elders being most important. The entire family will share in the joys, success, loss and honour of the family unit, making a collective culture. The oldest member of the family is the most respected and will be treated with honour, as well as those who have a position in the community, wealth or other status.
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