Being sick is already no fun. Let alone getting sick in Ghana. All those scary diseases in Africa! And are there any good hospitals and medicines? In this blog I will tell you more about health care in Ghana and I will also give some tips for when you unexpectedly get sick. I am not a doctor, let that be clear. But I do have over 20 years of Ghana experience. I’ve had malaria and typhoid fever before, delivered 2 children and had surgery in quite a local hospital.
3 SIMPLE TIPS TO PREVENT ILLNESS IN GHANA
Of course, prevention is better than cure. But unfortunately, we can’t always be prepared, nor can we prevent everything. The following tips may be obvious, but they are important!
- Anyway, make sure you drink enough, more than 2 liters of water per day. Do not drink tap water!
- Sometimes it is difficult to keep eating because of the heat, but still try to have 3 meals a day. Especially when you are engaging in a lot of activity.
- Take very good care of wounds and try not to scratch open mosquito bites. Cover wounds during the day to prevent flies from getting on and in them. These flies in combination with the climate can very easily cause skin infections.
I previously wrote a blog post on malaria
5 TIPS WHEN YOU FALL ILL IN GHANA
- Don’t panic! Trust yourself and listen to your body. These are 3 tips in 1. When you are actually not feeling well, not only is a lot happening in your body, often in your head as well. Heat affects that, as does lack of sleep. It’s very easy to get all sorts of scary thoughts in your head. But it could also very easily be that you are suffering from a cold, or that your intestines didn’t agree with all the ingredients in a consumed meal. Not every mosquito bite results in malaria and if you have diarrhea you really don’t need to fear dysentery right away.
- Try to keep eating well and especially drinking. If you drink pure water sachets, switch temporarily to bottled or boiled water.
- Check regularly to see if you have a fever and if your temperature is fluctuating. Also when you are taking malaria prophylaxis.
- Try to keep moving. Take a walk when possible, try to shower. If you stay in bed there is a good chance your head will mess with you. You are far away from home, from your family, from your couch which is most comfortable when you are not feeling well. Taking your mind off worrying really helps!
- There are a lot of local health centers in Ghana. Almost every village has one. And there are also many regional hospitals. You can visit these medical facilities without an appointment. Don’t wait too long to go.A simple lab test can rule out a lot and also ensure that you start the right medication in time. Click on this link for a list of hospitals in Ghana, by district. The health centers you find in almost every village are not on this list.
SOME REASSURING THOUGHTS FOR WHEN YOU’RE SICK
The (stereotypical) image of health care in Africa is often lousy. Long travel distances, tremendously poor hygiene, no medication and no well-trained medical staff. It’s certainly different here, that’s true. And when you look at some of the hospitals in Ghana through a Western lens, I can imagine being shocked.
But it’s really not all doom and gloom. The medical staff is trained, there is generally sufficient medication and there are excellent specialists. They also know much better what to do with tropical diseases here than in the West.
Are you sick IN GHANA?
Feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help, via email, phone or in real life! If you are able to travel and not very far from us then my recommendation is to come to Moon&Star!
KIRSTEN explains why:
I am really very excited about Moon and Star! Even beforehand, Patricia was extremely helpful. We booked the 4-day Ashanti tour with her along with a free planning for our tour. Patricia always kept appointments and never forgot to send an email (even if it was months later). I have celiac disease and thus have to eat gluten-free, which I found quite exciting about my trip to Ghana. Patricia sent me a comprehensive document with information about eating in Ghana that already made me feel better prepared, and she informed the staff at the hostels and guesthouses I was going to about gluten-free cooking.
Once we stayed at the Moon and Star guesthouse, every meal was truly a treat. Patricia and her team were very creative when it came to the food. We had a completely different dish with each course, which was made with local ingredients. It was great for me to have a carefree moment, and the food was really delicious! We looked forward each time to what we would get the next meal :).
Unfortunately, I was sick during my stay at the guesthouse, but again Patricia was very sweet and a great help. She arranged for me and Ike to go to a clinic and later a hospital and to buy medication. When I felt very bad she talked with me until I was calm again and arranged an extra fan for my room.
Despite the situation, I was very happy to be staying at the guesthouse at that time. I was well taken care of and the terrace of the guesthouse was a fantastic and beautiful place to relax and recover!Kirsten Veldman
Fortunately, I was still able to join the village tour and the hike to Prayer Mountain. We went on the hike with Ike and this was incredibly fun. We could ask all the questions and it was also just really fun. I also enjoyed the fufu workshop and the barbecue was delicious! Patricia made sure during the stay that the Ghanaian members of team Moon and Star were in the foreground, so we were really taken into the Ghanaian culture. In addition, all the staff was very nice!
I think by now it is clear why I am so excited about Moon and Star. I would recommend anyone going to Ghana to visit them!