This week we have been at Ridge Hospital in Accra. On Monday we were given a tour and introduced to all of the head nurses in each department. This hospital has many more departments than the children’s hospital, everything from surgery to dental and even a VIP ward. The set up and building are very similar though. The first stop on the tour was the administration’s office, while we were waiting to meet with the nurse that coordinates everything for us we met two foreign trained nurses from South Africa and Norwey. We talked for a bit about the differences here and our and their home countries. I was somewhat surprised that the Norway nurse decided to move here alone. She said that she met some really good friends and just decided to stay. Friends are better than have material possessions. The tour through the hospital was very interesting. The hospital is fully to capacity and beyond. Beds are crammed in everywhere, even the hallway. In the NICU four babies all share one incubator. The only equipment in the radiology department is an X-ray machine. No CT or MRI. In fact there is only one CT scanner in the entire country.
I spent Tuesday in the physical therapy department working with stroke victims and babies with birth injuries. It was quite inspiring watching the stroke victims learn to walk again. The youngest stroke victim was 36. He wasn’t overweight, but unknowingly had severe hypertension. Helping the children was also interesting. Many of them had a week arm since their shoulder was dislocated during delivery. I have defiantly learned how awesome the miracle of birth really is. We should praise the Lord every time both baby and mom are healthy after delivery. It truly is the miracle of life. Today, I helped immunize over 150 six-week-old babies. After today I’d like to give a huge thank you to every mother and father that has cared for a baby cries non-stop. After six hours of hearing babies scream from getting their shots I knew I had lost my sanity.I am very thankful for these past few weeks in Ghana. I have learned more than I could ever share on this blog. The biggest lesson I have learned is to be content. I have been given much more than I need. I was born to loving parents that had a stable income in a country where my every need and more is met. I have access to some of the best medical treatments in the world. I drive on perfectly smooth roads in a car I was given. I am earning a college education thanks to HOPE and my parents. Yet, I have grown up in a culture that tells you to want more so I have fallen into this trap far to often. I recently read a book called Radical by David Platt and he asks the question “What would happen if we began to give what it hurt us to give?” I have seen the need first hand. The hospitals here are choked. They don’t have the resources to treat every patient. Some people are turned away since they don’t have the money. I know I can’t change the situation of every person in Ghana, but we are trying to change the lives of a few children by raising money for a new swing-set at the Children’s Hospital. (If you’re interested in donating please email me. Mnorth1@uga.edu).