Ghanaian golden touch

Ghanaian golden touch

Ghanaian golden touch

It took a while, but finally the report is here about our adventure in Ghana. First we want to thank you very much for all donations. Thanks to donations from various sides (friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, classmates and sometimes even strangers), we have arrived at a total of 4652 euro. We never thought we would receive so many wonderful responses and would eventually arrive at such a high amount. The gratitude that we have experienced through the donation of the material was unbelievable and regularly caused goosebumps.

To give you an impression, we would like to describe a situation for you which will stay with us for a long time; In the hospital, the doctor gave a presentation on the Ebola virus for its entire staff on that day, about 200 people. Since Ebola was obviously big news (and still is) in West Africa, it was also discussed at the hospital in Ghana. In order to prevent the spread of Ebola as effectively as possible good hygiene is very important. This raised discussion about the bottles of hand-alcohol. It was suggested that it would be useful if each staff member would have their own bottle, so that the hands could easily and quickly be cleaned. However, it was too expensive for the hospital to buy all of these.

Because we had just reached the end of our fundraising we knew that there was still some extra money to spend. With that in mind, we raised our hand and we showed that we were willing to take care of those bottles. After the doctor had asked several times to confirm whether we were sure it was what we wanted to do everyone went crazy. We were told that they had never experienced such a gesture, gave us a loud applause and shook our hand. A very beautiful moment to experience.

Furthermore, we have been able to use the donations for everything we had on our list:

We experienced first-hand that it’s difficult to find good material. We also wanted to donate a new operating table to the hospital and because of the high amount raised through the fundraising this also belonged to the possibilities. Through the doctor we came in contact with a salesman of medical supplies who had an extra operating table from Germany. We thought this sounded good so we had the table delivered to the hospital: The salesman assured us again that the table came from Germany, after which the table was unpacked and put together. Because everyone was still in the euphoria of the new purchase in the beginning we hadn’t noticed anything strange.

However, once the table was put together, we started looking at the table with a somewhat more critical eye….With a strange manual, a hydraulics system that would give the patient whiplash and a brand name that we, with our limited German did not recognise as a German brand (Jactermac), unfortunately we had to come to the conclusion that this was a (bad) counterfeit. Fortunately we had not yet paid and we let the seller know that he could take this Chinese counterfeit back with him.

Since it was also impossible to get a good operating table in Ghana, we have continued our search in the Netherlands. We currently have a number of contacts that can help us with this. We are therefore determined to deliver a new operating table at the hospital in Ghana. Meanwhile, we have been home for a while and everything has had a chance to settle. But we often think back to our time in Ghana! The hospital, the people, the village, the nature, local food (opinions about this were however divided) the family with who we lived and so on … we enjoyed every moment.

And even though it’s practically impossible to give a materialistic value of such memories, we are extremely grateful for the fact that we were able to do something with your help. Sometimes we were asked how exactly we got that money. When we explained that the money was donated by people because they wanted to do something to help, they were thrilled; “I will come to Holland to thank them all!”… Even though we’re pretty sure that it was said to show how grateful they were, you should not be surprised if soon there is suddenly a Ghanaian at your doorstep. Finally, we received a thank you letter from the doctor which was not only directed at us, but also to you as a donor. The letter can be read below. We want to thank you again for your help. It’s hard to explain exactly what the experiences in Ghana have done to us as medical students. What we can say is that you added a Ghanaian golden touch with a lot of gratitude!

Thank You, Medasse!!

Douwe, Kim en Rik

Charles Giesberger