We’ve discussed my observations about the Ghanaian education system, but in deference to the latter half of that rather lengthy post, I decided to delve deeper into Ghanaian healthcare. Okay fine, a bout of malaria forced me to.
Ho Municipal Hospital’s campus is probably the most peaceful place in all of Ho-town. Although my western insurance only covers hospitals located in Accra, I figured my costs incurred would be manageable (true.), plus I wanted to wander the mango trees and covered walkways of Ho Municipal.
I intentionally arrived Sunday morning while the rest of town was at church (shorter lines = faster service, right?). After a run-around re:my nonexistent Ghanaian health card, I finally got on file with Ho Municipal Hospital for a decently-priced GHC 7.00.
There’s no doctor working on Sunday (he’s probably also at church), so two nurses-in-training weighed me on an uncalibrated scale (that or I’ve lost 10 pounds in 2 days), took my temperature (variable, considering fever comes in waves), and took my blood pressure (110/70, so that’s good).
The darling head nurse on duty, Lizzy, took me as her final patient of the morning. She has since invited me to dinner.
I knew I had malaria and told her so. She chided my self-diagnosis, asked me to list out my symptoms, and confirmed: I have malaria.
- Artemether & Lumefantrine (antimalarial tablets)
- Medsoclav tablets (amoxicillin and potassium)
- Hayzine (decongestant)
- Paremetacol (tylenol)
- Flagyl (never fully described to me, but which I am not supposed to take unless still sick after all the other medicines have run out)
- ORS [Oral Rehydration Salts] – which taste disgusting
Total cost for all these medications? GHC 30.
Total time spent at hospital? 3.5 hours.
Total medications I’m actually taking? 1 + ORS. Because that list is ridiculous.
Note: I’m surprised by the questions that were never asked: known allergies, personal or family medical history, have I had malaria before, have I reacted poorly to penicillin, etc. However, I was repeatedly asked if I was Christian, married, and German.