Accra Psychiatric Hospital

Specialist Hospital/Clinic | Accra, Ghana

Hospital description

This placement is run by Elective Ghana, an extremely reasonably priced company that organises the placement, accommodation, evening activities, airport pick up etc. You can combine it with a placement in Accra Regional Hospital which has placements in all physical health specialities (A+E, paediatrics, surgery etc.)

Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Ghana is one of three psychiatric hospitals in the country. It is a huge government-run hospital in the capital of Ghana which has around 600 patients.

The placement is varied and you are able to spend time in different departments if you are proactive in organising this when you arrive. You will likely be supervised by one consultant and spend most of the time with them on ward rounds and in clinics. If patients are relatively well, you are able to take histories in clinic. Most of the time on the ward round is observation but there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Time in other parts of the hospital was a lot more hands on. In the hospital, there is an onsite school for children with learning disabilities who were permanent residents at the hospital. The headmaster of this school (which only had 3 teachers) is extremely friendly and you can to help teach the lessons (e.g. self-care, music, poetry). You can also spend time on the rehab ward completing the ward activities with the patients, including charades and participating in narcotics anonymous meetings. You can shadow the hospital psychologist, educating patients on their mental health diagnosis, as, for many patients, very little is known about their psychiatric illness and so, even as a medical student, you have a lot to offer in helping patients understand their illness. There are teaching sessions run by the doctors that you can attend.

Psychiatry services were very different to the UK. In 2017, there were only 18 psychiatrists in the whole country (compared to around 7000 in the UK). The treatment gap is 98% of the total population expected to have a mental disorder. For this reason, there are extreme resource constraints. You will experience the stigma that surrounded mental health problems and see patients presenting late within the course of illness.

Sefa (the organiser of Elective Ghana) will look after you extremely well. He sorts out the placement quickly and helps you with any admin. He organises a tour of the city and takes you to the best places to eat/drink. He can help you fill your evening and weekend with activities (live football games, safari, walking in the rainforest, salsa, beach, national parks and much more!). He will sort any issue you have which was so handy and had, we were able to speak to him and he would always sort it! All in all, the elective is incredible.

Profile

Hospital type Specialist Hospital/Clinic
Local language English
Funding Status Public

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