We’ll just consider this a cultural experience

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.

Ultimate prescription:

  • 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.


2 responses to “We’ll just consider this a cultural experience

  1. Pingback: Things I learned in a malarial haze: | The Menace of the Years

  2. Pingback: FOCOS Hospital | The Menace of the Years

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