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About Medicine in Ghana, Medicine Schools in Ghana
Independence Arch, Accra, Ghana, photo credit
Studying medicine abroad can offer the experience of a lifetime, especially when the destination is somewhere as unique and beautiful as Ghana. Officially called the Republic of Ghana, the country is located in West Africa, and is bordered by the Ivory Coast to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Also known as the Gold Coast, Ghana achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, becoming the first African nation to break from European colonialism. The country is a member of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, the United Nations and the African Union, among other memberships. It is also one the largest producers of cocoa in the world, and home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by total surface area. The capital and government seat in Ghana is Accra, which is also the largest city.
Medical Education in Ghana
A good portion of the medical education and training in Ghana is handled by the University of Ghana in its large School of Medicine. Opened in the early 1960s, the school aims to prepare students for professional medical practice both within the country of Ghana and internationally. Its mission is to produce competent medical practitioners, capable of providing high-quality service to meet the health needs of the nation and the global community, through excellence in teaching, learning, research, and knowledge dissemination.
Since its inception, the following primary objectives of the school have never wavered:
To develop a broad-based generalist practitioner with sufficient grounding for subsequent specialization.
To train practitioners to be functionally attuned to and therefore be able to respond aptly to the needs and exigencies of his/her environment—skills students will attain through international standards.
To ensure that graduates have participated in health care delivery while undergoing their instruction and are therefore cognizant of the problems and issues of effective health care delivery. Training also helps to mold a candidate who accepts responsibility for self-learning and therefore is readily responsive and responsible to the call for continuing education.
Why Study Abroad in Ghana
Study abroad programs in Ghana afford students the opportunity to try something new, in a place that is vastly different than some of the more traditional study abroad locations, such as those found in Europe and North America. It also makes for an excellent starting point for foreign visitors to experience all that sub-Saharan Africa has to offer, primarily due to the country’s stability and its use of English as the official language. Nestled between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, Ghana has a rich history and a very diverse culture, and while the country does have several noteworthy tourist destinations, visiting Ghana is really more about the adventure than of seeing any one particular landmark or monument.
The Ghanaian people are quick to welcome foreign students into their tight-knit communities and can be of great assistance in helping you learn about their culture, customs, celebrations, and traditions. This cultural diversity includes six major ethnic groups, each with their own language and dialect, and the comparison between the lives of city dwellers and the folks living in northern Ghana is drastic to say the least.
Each day offers something new when visiting Ghana, where spontaneity is definitely the norm. When you’re not busy hitting the books in the classroom or studying in the lab, hop onto one of the Tro-Tro
vehicles—vans from the 1980s that act as the local bus system—until you spot a town or region you’d like to visit. There you can interact with the friendly locals and witness firsthand their normal day-to-day lives, their struggles and resourcefulness.