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Nighttime view of Temple University Children's Medical Center Temple University Hospital in background, Kresge Hall (left) and Medical Research Building (right) in foreground Old Medical School building in foreground, Jones Hall, General Services building and Student Faculty Center to the right

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News Archive

STUDENTS RECEIVE GLOBAL HEALTH EDUCATION IN GHANA

September 22, 2010

CONTACT:  Ingrid Spangler, Office of Institutional Advancement

spangler@temple.edu

215-707-3396

 

 

 

On June 15th, five second-year Temple medical students—Caroline Brandon, Maureen Daly, Laura Kwoh, Rebecca Romero, and David Whitney—took the medical knowledge they obtained over the course of their first year in medical school in Philadelphia to Kumasi, Ghana.

 

The overseas connection began in the summer of 2009 when Richard Coico, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Research at TUSM and former Temple University Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico traveled to Kumasi and established a working relationship with Dr. Addae. Dr. Addae is known for his ambitious and inspirational health initiatives. His objective is to create more rural health clinics in Ghana by taking the very scarce resources available in the city out into the more rural areas.

 

Dr. Addae’s strong vision inspired Dr. Coico to get Temple University School of Medicine involved and a mutually beneficial partnership formed. In exchange for additional medical expertise and hands-on assistance in Ghana’s urban/rural clinics, Temple medical students could gain a broader understanding of patient care in a developing country.

 

The students' Ghanaian experiential learning opportunity was multi-faceted. First, they visited a maternal-fetal health clinic, which was a government-owned, urban hospital-based clinic in Kumasi. Here they saw a variety of issues related to women and children, specifically reproductive and nutritional concerns.

 

After three weeks in Kumasi, the medical students were joined by faculty advisor Manish Garg, MD, Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Residency Program Director for Temple’s Department of Emergency Medicine, for the remaining week. Dr. Garg is a veteran when it comes to international volunteer medical experiences, having participated and led student groups to India, Africa and Central America. Dr. Garg was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Amit Malkani, DO, a family medicine resident at Memorial Hospital in York, Pa.

 

The next segment of the trip revolved around various rural clinics such as Kwaso, where there was no access to labs or diagnostics, so all treatment plans were based on clinical medicine. The students, under the supervision of Drs. Garg and Malkani, took patient histories, performed physical exams, and a few even had the opportunity to help deliver babies. The second setting the group visited was a governmental clinic called Onwe. Here, a few laboratory tests were available--malaria and typhoid tests, sickle cell screening, hemoglobin and urine tests. At this clinic, the students were able to interview patients directly and run the aforementioned laboratory tests to assist in their medical decision-making before treating patients for malaria, typhoid, and other infectious diseases. The culmination of the trip was a mobile clinic visit with African nurses and physician assistants to the fishing villages surrounding Lake Bosomtwe, a very remote region of Ghana where patients do not have the opportunity to see physicians for years at a time. Hundreds of villagers visited the mobile clinic for infectious disease treatment and general healthcare and hygiene recommendations.

 

Temple University School of Medicine donated infant formula, a sterilizer, and a surgical trolley to the urban and rural clinics upon their gracious request. Private support from eight donors was generated to help fund the international medical experience. A special thanks to Albert Alley, MD ’64; John Daly, MD ’73; Sandra Harmon-Weiss, MD ’74; Victoria Heil; Jonathan Liss, MD ’80; Eric Raefsky, MD ’80; and Susan Wolf, Esq.