Following is information that will help volunteers traveling to BMC to be prepared for a smooth travel experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this helps as you prepare to come serve with us again.
Please visit the official Accra Airport (KIA) website for the latest news, guidelines and updates.
1) All persons 18 years-old and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Approved vaccines are: 2 doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Sputnik V or 1 dose of Johnson&Johnson
Press release with details here: https://twitter.com/DSD_GHS/status/1469076383531950086
2) You must have a negative PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in your country of origin and it must be administered within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time.
For passengers who transit through other countries before arriving in Ghana, the first country of departure will be the reference point (country of origin).
Note that we highly recommend flying direct from the US to Accra if possible to avoid potential delays/cancellations in Europe due to pandemic travel issues.
3) You will be denied entry if you have “symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 including body temperature > 38°C (100.4°F)”
Even if your COVID-19 test is NEGATIVE, the official KIA guidelines state that they can deny you entry for symptoms or fever. For this reason, our family made sure we had the flu vaccine in the US before coming.
You may wish to postpone your travel if you are showing common cold or flu-like symptoms, despite a NEGATIVE COVID test.
4) You have to complete an online Health Declaration Form before passing immigration in Accra.
It is available here: https://ghs-hdf.org/
5) Upon arrival at KIA, everyone must get a rapid COVID-19 test. The cost is $150 per person and you must pay online before leaving.
You must pay at the following website: https://myfrontierhealthcare.com/Home/Ghana Be sure to print your receipt and you will present it to the officials at KIA before undergoing your COVID test.
The testing process was very orderly and professionally executed. After your nose is swabbed in a cubicle by a nurse, you then proceed to immigration and on to baggage claim. You are not permitted to leave with your baggage until your test result arrives and is NEGATIVE.
The KIA website claims it takes 12 minutes. However, you will spend at least 30 minutes in immigration and baggage claim. Note that some BMC travelers have experienced test result delays upwards of 2 hours.
6) If your airport test is POSITIVE, you will be quarantined by the Ghanaian government for one week at your own personal expense.
Anyone coming must understand that there is a risk that they could be quarantined if their test comes back POSITIVE.
7) The wearing of masks is required in public in Ghana.
In Accra, you will see many people wearing masks and many businesses require hand washing, temperature checks, and masks for entry. There is a hefty fine if you are caught not wearing your mask (minimum $2000, max $10000).
That said, once you reach the northern regions you will observe that “pandemic fatigue” has set in and most Ghanaians are no longer wearing masks. Enforcement has not been consistent and many in the general public believe that COVID is a non-issue in the north.
BMC in Nalerigu, however, continues to require masks for staff, patients, and visitors to the hospital.
8) A NEGATIVE PCR COVID-19 test is required to re-enter the US
Volunteers will need to plan on returning to Accra 24 hours before their departure flight so that they can get tested for COVID before boarding. We have used labs in Accra for PCR tests and had success getting results within 24hrs.
The most convenient tests can be done at the airport (located in the domestic terminals upon your arrival from Tamale). OmniLab at the domestic airport is most convenient and costs 500GHS (~$80) for a 12hr PCR result.
Other lab options:
Before your departure we will help you coordinate logistics in order to get your PCR test results prior to your flight. You will need that document for the entirety of your journey back to the US.
9) A COVID-19 Attestation form is required to board flights to the US
The form below must be printed, filled out, signed and presented to your airline to board your flight to the US.
Our BMC volunteers guesthouse rates have been simplified to a single $20/person all inclusive daily rate and $25/day for an air conditioned room.
All Inclusive – Lodging/Meals/Internet per day
Per person rate * $20 (see amount in GHS) / $25 for Air conditioned room
* Per Person rate is irrespective of whether rooms are shared or not. Rooms are given on a first- come first-served basis.
125 GHS/ person one way, 250 GHS/ person RT
5 GHS per load for washing
5 GHS per load for drying
Thanks to a special gift through the International Mission Board, BMC has been able to upgrade its security fence around the lower campus where the volunteer guesthouses are located.
The new 650+ meters of security fencing have six feet of chainlink with barbed wire and an additional line of barbed wire at 7 feet.
After taking a year of sabbatical leave that was unexpectedly extended by several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BMC’s surgeon Dr. Heidi Haun, her husband Rev. William Haun and their children returned to Nalerigu on September 24th.
During her absence, her role at BMC as surgical consultant was graciously filled by volunteer physician Dr. Anastasia Furtak.
The Haun family has committed to another 4-year term of volunteer service at BMC.
In a recent memo, the management of the Ghana Baptist Convention’s guest house in Accra announced that its costs will go up by 17.5% as they are legally required to collect VAT (Value Added Tax).
This increase only applies to the guest house in Accra, not the BMC guest house’s cost.
Dear valued customer,
Please be informed that the Ghana Baptist Guest House is now registered for VAT( Value Added Tax) collection on behalf of government.We are hereby notifying you all that our rates as from Monday 22nd July, 2019 will have 17.5% of the total value added to it as we are legally required to do.
We assure you of our continued homely hospitality at all times.
If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the Accra Guest House’s staff directly at [email protected] or +233 302 777 542.
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Bawa Ziblim (photo center) on Sunday, April 14th.
For decades, “Mr. Bawa,” as he was affectionately called, served as a cook to BMC missionary doctors and volunteers. He was an incredibly humble and dedicated man who always strived to meet any and every need of the volunteers in his care. His service behind-the-scenes was critical to the quality care provided by the many volunteer physicians every year at BMC.
Please keep his wife Comfort, his children, and his grandchildren in your prayers during this difficult time.
We are excited to welcome Dr. Anastasiia Furtak to our volunteer staff at BMC.
Dr. Furtak hails from Ukraine and is a licensed general surgeon. She will be working alongside BMC surgeon Dr. Heidi Haun until Dr. Haun takes a one-year leave of absence beginning in July 2019. Then Dr. Furtak will take over the surgery department’s responsibilities until Dr. Haun and her family return in June 2020.
We are so grateful that God has answered our prayers for someone to step into this role during Dr. Haun’s absence. Please keep Dr. Furtak in your prayers as she learns the ropes and adjusts to life in northern Ghana.
Please enjoy these highlights from our day of celebration on November 8, 2018.