Health interns in Ghana complete rotations in a variety of clinical and community facilities. Students will spend four weeks in Accra, primarily doing rotations in a historic children’s hospital exploring the social determinants that impact the Ghanaian healthcare system and contribute to the burden of disease. Living conditions, nutrition, physical environment, social and community support, water and sanitation, housing, rather than individual factors such as genetics or other behavioral causes are major contributions to the cause and burden of disease. Join local medical professionals in the historic Children’s Hospital in Accra and see how these professionals provide care in a resource-poor environment, overcoming challenges such as the financial and structural constraints of the healthcare system itself and the social determinants that lead to illness in children. This is a great opportunity for students interested in pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, and public health. This program is run in partnership with Child Family Health International (CFHI) and is a great opportunity for students interested in pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, public health, and global health.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Evaleen Jones, Child Family Health International (CFHI) offers community-based global health programs at 20+ sites in ten countries. This joint program with IE3 Global allows students to take part in 4 weeks of rotations in a particular location. Interns are provided with opportunities to learn about global health while imbedded in the existing health systems and social services sectors alongside local community members and champions. CFHI seeks to develop students’ broad-based understanding of the interplays between disease processes, social circumstances, poverty, resiliency, geopolitical realities, historical contexts, culture, and the complexities of health and wellness. CFHI's expertise is in “preserving the authenticity of the community's expertise and presenting 'real-life' global health, while nesting programs in gold-standard educational pedagogies and safety standards”.
Thousands of students and medical professionals have taken part in their unique programs, which foster reciprocal partnerships and empowerment in local communities. Internships are open to all students with an interest in health in an international context and is especially ideal for pre-med, pre-nursing, public health, and global health students.
The learning objectives for interns are:
Ghana, located in West Africa, has a long and rich cultural history and is considered one of the most stable and democratic countries in Africa. With strong political and economic systems, vibrant cities, and friendly people, Ghana is the perfect gateway for a colorful, cultural experience in Africa. Despite strong economic growth and a stable political system, it still has a long road to providing quality healthcare for children throughout the country. Ghana has been working tirelessly to reduce infant mortality rates and improve the overall health of the pediatric population in the country. However, social and economic conditions have continued to impact the health of children, with malaria, anemia, and malnutrition the leading contributors to childhood morbidity in Ghana.
Interns will join local medical professionals in the historic Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital and see how these professionals provide care in a resource-poor environment, overcoming challenges such as the financial and structural constraints of the healthcare system itself and the social determinants that lead to illness in children. Participants will have the unique opportunity to engage with medical professionals in the Outpatient Department, Emergency Room, the various wards to learn about the healthcare and also the prevention and management of various diseases.
This internship program is an opportunity to primarily learn and observe. CFHI programs uphold strict standards and comply with all local laws regarding student involvement in health settings. Interns are the most important factor in making the CFHI experience as fulfilling as possible by being respectful, inquisitive, and open to the wide variety of learning experiences. Interns can expect up to 40 hours of rotations and activities each week, with evenings and weekends free to explore the city and nearby areas. Interns will live in a 4 bedroom shared house located 15 minutes away from the primary worksite.
This internship is open to students from any academic background. Pre-med, pre-nursing, public health, or other health-related courses are recommended.
Prior experience in healthcare settings is an asset but not required.
English is the national language of Ghana. CFHI staff and medical health professionals will speak English. Some interactions with patients and other staff may take place in local languages.
Interns should be 20 years or older at the start of the program.
* Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage
The CFHI Host Site Fees Includes:
Interns will stay in a four bedroom shared house located 15 minutes away from the primary worksite. Depending on the number of program participants rooms may be shared. The house includes a kitchen, sitting room and two bathrooms.
Reliable in-home internet is not guaranteed. Interns can utilize internet at local cafés and/or buy a mobile hotspot with data for about $75. Air conditioning is available at an additional charge (about $2 per night).
“Looking back on my work here, I am particularly thankful to have experienced the daily life of a Doctor. It has allowed me to see and understand the great challenges of this profession. I have learned that being a healthcare provider is far from glamorous; it is physically and emotionally draining and brutally challenging…The greatest professional accomplishment I met on this journey was gaining the confidence and composure to insert myself into any situation. As a young white female, I felt challenged at the hospital to gain the attention and respect of the staff. This experience has been nothing short of a personal, emotional, and physical journey. One of the most important things I have learned about myself throughout my time here is how eager I am to practice medicine…I began to acknowledge my own limitations, reminding myself that my purpose here is to gain cultural perspective and contextualize the realities of health care and public health delivery. I learned that it takes time and effort to truly connect and assimilate to a new culture…From this experience I have learned what it takes to operate seven thousand miles outside of my comfort zone. I have learned how to find courage in moments of complete doubt and remain composed in moments of fear. I learned the importance of showing interest, enthusiasm, drive, and respect, all while remaining humble and patient…Living and working in a completely new environment allowed me to learn first-hand about the complexities and tragedies surrounding health and access to healthcare. I have gained a great deal of cultural competency and an even greater awareness of my own privilege. I am forever grateful for this life-changing journey and have every intention of continuing my passion for global health…This internship solidified my career choice of a Physician Assistant.”
-Bailey, University of Washington
“My time interning with CFHI Ghana allowed me to expand my view of the world and my place in it, while honing my personal and career goals. This experience has provided me with the necessary tools to pursue my career in public health, and has already led to job offers in my field. Without this experience, my undergraduate education would have been lacking the necessary component of cross-cultural competency that has given me confidence in my education through real-world experience. Every day, I think about my time in Ghana and see new ways in which it informs my life in the United States.”
-Mara, Oregon State University
Summer: January 25
- Open to all students with an interest in healthcare
- Pre-med, pre-nursing, or public health courses and prior experience in a healthcare setting is recommended, but not required