Akwaaba (Welcome) to Ghana, the beautiful Gold Coast! We work hard to offer the most amazing exchange experience possible, by providing excellent educational opportunities and the most exciting social programs in accordance with our traditions and customs!
Ghana is a sovereign multinational state, with unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa.
It is the 82nd largest country in the world and 33rd largest country on continental Africa by land mass.
We are bordered by the Ivory Coast on the west, Burkina Faso on the north, Togo on the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean on the south.
The name Ghana means "Warrior King". Ghana is a constitutional democracy, divided into ten administrative regions, and the world's 56th−most inhabited nation with a population of approximately 20 million as of 2013. Our varied geography includes savannas, woodlands, forests, a coastal line, springs, cave systems, mountains, estuaries, wildlife parks, and nature reserves. The coast of Ghana stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) and includes a rich assortment of culturally significant castles, forts, ports and harbors.
In 1957, we became the first African nation to declare independence from European colonization, making Ghana a symbol of black achievement inspiring other African nations to seek independence.
We are the 7th-best governed country, 5th-most stable country and rated thirteenth-highest HDI on continental Africa.
Our economy is the 6th- largest on the African continent by purchasing power parity and Nominal GDP and is one of the fastest growing in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity per capita income, Ghana has the highest per capita income in the subregion of western Africa and has the tenth−highest per capita income on continental Africa.
Ghana is a significant petroleum and natural gas producer, one of the world's largest gold and diamond producers, and is projected to be the largest producer of cocoa in the world by the end of 2015. Ghana is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area. Ghana is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, and a member of both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Group of 24 (G24). Ghana's sweet crude oil reserves, ranks at 5th on continental Africa and 21st–25th globally and Ghana's natural gas reserves, ranks at 6th on continental Africa and 49th globally. Ghana ranks as the 58th most peaceful country in the world.
In Ghana, most health care is provided by the government and largely administered by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services. The healthcare system has five levels of providers:
1.Health posts (first level primary care for rural areas)
2. Health Centres and Clinics,
3. District hospitals,
4. Regional Hospitals and
5. Tertiary Hospitals.
These programs are funded by the government of Ghana, financial credits, Internally Generated Fund (IGF), and Donors-pooled Health Fund. Hospitals and clinics run by Christian Health Association of Ghana also provide healthcare services. There are 200 hospitals in Ghana. Some for- profit clinics exist, but they provide less than 2% of health care services. Health care is very variable through the country. Urban centres are well served, and contain most hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the country. However, rural areas often have no modern health care. Patients in these areas either rely on traditional African medicine, or travel great distances for health care. In 2005, Ghana spent 6.2% of GDP on health care, or US$30 per capita. Of that, approximately 34% was government expenditure. In 2013, life expectancy at birth was 66 years with males at 65 years and females at 67 years, and infant mortality was at 39 per 1000 live births. The total fertility rate is 3.92 children per woman among the 15 million Ghanaian women There were about 15 physicians and 93 nurses per 100,000 persons in 2010. 5.2% of the country's GDP was spent on health in 2010, and all Ghanaian citizens have access to primary health care 97.5% of the Ghana population. Ghana's universal health care system has been described as the most successful healthcare system on the Africa continent by the renowned business magnate and tycoon Bill Gates. Ghana has a universal health care system, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and until the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme, many people died because they did not have money to pay for their health care needs when they were taken ill. The system of health which operated
was known as the "Cash and Carry" system. Under this system, the health need of an individual was only attended to after initial payment for the service was made. Even in cases when patients had been brought into the hospital on emergencies it was
required that money was paid at every point of service delivery.
Although the NHIS has taken a nosedive, express pressure has been put on the authorities to fix the situation.
When the country returned to democratic
rule in 1992, its health care sector started seeing improvements in terms of: Service delivery Human resource improvement Public education about health condition even with these initiatives in place many still could not access health care services because of the cash
and carry system. The idea for the National Health Insurance Scheme
(NHIS) in Ghana was conceived by former president John Kufour who when seeking the mandate of the people in the 2000 elections, promised to abolish the “cash and carry system” of health delivery. Upon becoming president, former president Kufour pushed through his idea of getting rid of “cash and carry” and replacing it with an equitable insurance scheme that
ensured that treatment was provided first before payment. In 2003, the scheme was passed into law.
Under the law, there was the establishment of National Health Insurance Authority which licenses,
monitors and regulates the operation of health insurance schemes in Ghana.
Like many countries in the world, Ghana's health insurance was fashioned out to meet specific needs of its citizens. Since its inception, the country's health facilities have seen constant rise in patient numbers and a considerable reduction in deaths. The insurance scheme has however come under critical review lately.
There are five government owned medical schools in Ghana:
1.The University of Ghana Medical School in Accra,
2. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) School of Medical Sciences in Kumasi,
3. University for Development Studies School of Medicine in Tamale,
4. University of Cape Coast Medical School and the
5. University of Allied Health Sciences in Ho, Volta Region.
Basic Medical education lasts 6 years in all the medical schools. Entry into these medical schools is highly competitive and is usually based on successful completion of the Senior High School Examinations. The University of Ghana Medical School, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology and the University of Cape Coast and University for Development Studies Medical school have however introduced a graduate entry medical program to admit students with mainly science-related degrees into a 4-year medical school program. Students graduating from any of these medical schools get the MBChB degree and the title "Dr". For the First 3 years Students are awarded BSc in the field of Medical science for University of Ghana medical school; and Human biology for KNUST and UDS medical schools. The University of Ghana Medical School and KNUST School of Medical Sciences in Kumasi use the Traditional medical education model while the University for Development Studies School of Medicine uses the Problem-based learning model.
Medical graduates are then registered provisionally with the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) of Ghana as House Officers (Interns)
Upon completion of the
mandatory 2-year housemanship, these medical doctors are permanently registered with the MDC and can practice as medical officers (General Practitioners) anywhere in the country. The housemanship training is done only in hospitals accredited for such purposes by the Medical and Dental Council of Ghana Following the permanent registration with the medical and dental council, doctors can specialize in any of the various fields that is organized by either the West African college of Physicians and Surgeons or the Ghana College of Physician and Surgeons. Medical officers are also sometimes hired by the Ghana Health Service to work in the Districts/Rural areas as Primary Care Physicians.
southern regions, especially the areas in which gold, cocoa, and timber are produced. The northern and central areas are connected through a major road system and air routes to other parts of the country.
The Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the Kumasi International Airport in Kumasi, Tamale Airport in Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi Airport in Sekondi-Takoradi are the main airports in Ghana.
Road transport is by far the most dominant carrier of freight
and passengers in Ghana’s land transport system. It carries over 95% of all passenger and freight traffic and reaches most communities, and is classified under three categories of trunk roads, urban roads, and feeder roads. The Ghana Highway Authority, established in 1974 is tasked with developing and
maintaining the country's trunk road network totaling 13,367 km, which makes up 33% of Ghana's total road network of 40,186 km. Road transport infrastructure in Ghana can be used throughout to facilitate the exchange of commodities and enable regular school attendance and fast access to health facilities in Ghana.
Transportation in Ghana is pretty cheap. Ubers work as well in Accra and Kumasi and are quite affordable
When it comes to 'must sees' Ghana's all year round tropical warm climate along with its many wildlifes; exotic waterfalls such as Wli Waterfalls and the largest waterfall in west Africa, theTagbo Falls; Ghana's coastal palm-lined sandy beaches; caves; mountains, rivers; meteorite impact crater and reservoirs and lakes such as Lake Bosumtwi meteorite crater and the largest lake in the world by surface area, Lake Volta. For lovers of history, dozens of castles and forts popular amongst them the Cape coast castle and the Elmina castle and national museums like the Kwame Nkrumah museums are places to see. Nature reserves and national parks like the Kakum National Park and Mole National Park are major tourist destinations in Ghana. Beach and seaside resorts in Ada Foah in Greater Accra Region and Coconut groove resort in the Central Region provide exotic venues for relaxation during the warm sunny weather. All these make Ghana a place to be for the exchange program.
Many Ghanaians have adopted some western culture. However the typical people usually found in the rural areas have diverse cultures that are worth seeing. In every culture in Ghana, hospitality especially to foreigners is a MUST!
Ghana is definitely a must visit Country.The people are great. However, it's always better to have your contact person with you when buying or bargaining for items. ;-D
This is mainly so you get the cheapest things.
Also, bring a lot of sunscreen.... a tan is mostly inevitable, and the weather is usually amazing.