What To Bring
Pack light! Since BMC has meals available and washers/dryers you don’t have to bring the kitchen sink.
You must have an up-to-date passport with an entry visa for Ghana. Your passport cannot expire within 6 months of your departure from Ghana. Your travel agent can help you get a visa or you can contact the embassy of Ghana in Washington, D.C. but realize that it may take 2-3 weeks so start early.
Visas (not the credit card!) are usually good for 90 days but can be extended once you arrive. For a little more money you can obtain a multiple-entry visa that is good for a year in case you may be planning to come in and out of the country during that time. The visa application is online and details about the visa application process are on the US Ghanaian embassy website (or Ghana High Commission in Ontario for Canadian volunteers).
Yellow Card & COVID Card
You must present proof of the yellow fever vaccination and COVID-19 vaccinations. Bring your yellow immunization card and COVID vaccine card with you as you will be asked to show this before going through immigration at the airport in Accra. Find out more about required vaccines.
It is critical that doctors and dentists volunteering for the first time contact us ([email protected]) about the licensing process.
More details on the Medical Volunteers page.
BMC has washers and driers available so you don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe. Bring enough changes of clothes for 3-4 days without washing.
- Lightweight washable clothes: thin cotton, polyester
- Men: Short sleeve shirts, khaki or thin nylon cargo pants. Please do not wear shorts when working.
- Women: Please be modest and wear culturally & professionally appropriate attire. Pants or long skirts to the knee or below are acceptable at work. Sleeveless tops are acceptable but avoid spaghetti straps and low-cut tops. Modest shorts and leggings are fine to wear at the guesthouse or when exercising, preferably on the hospital compound.
- Scrubs are usually not worn outside of the OR.
More info about hospital attire on the Medical Volunteers page
- Sandals are the best footwear.
- Enclosed shoes – one pair, either for night wear to and from the hospital or for hiking at the escarpment
- Raingear during rainy season (May to November): poncho/rain jacket/small umbrella… you will have to walk to hospital, 5 minute walk, but rains can be heavy
Medications to consider bringing with you:
- Malaria prophylaxis
Doxycycline is not effective in Ghana any more. The two best choices are Malarone and Larium, however discuss with your travel doctor. FYI: Larium can cause seizures, hallucinations, psychosis and/or nightmares.
- Bring with you a supply of any medication you usually take, whether prescription or over-the-counter (OTC).
- Cipro 500 mg… if you get the GI bug, it is likely e. coli, you can take Cipro 500 mg BID for 3 days
- Pepto tabs
- Zofran 4 mg ODT for nausea
- Antibiotic ointment/antifungal ointment
Because of climate and exposure to various diseases, be sure to have a nourishing diet at all times. It may be advisable to take a vitamin supplement. If you need a sugar or salt substitute, bring it.
Bring your own:
- Deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, etc… (travel size is best)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, powder, combs, brushes, razor, hair dryer (110v electricity is available in Nalerigu, NOT in Accra)
- Sunscreen & insect repellant (Deet 20-35%) – See Malaria
- Kleenex, hand sanitizer, handi wipes, chapstick, and makeup
Theoretically you can get these things, but NOT in Nalerigu on a regular basis; so – BRING YOUR OWN!!!
- Snacks – food options in Nalerigu are limited
- Coffee addict?
We’ve got a coffee pot in House #6 but you’ll need to bring your own coffee/filters/instant coffee (our coffee maker uses #4 Cone Filters)
- HEADLAMP/FLASHLIGHT with extra batteries
- A pocketknife can also be useful (be sure to put it in your checked luggage!)
- Reading material
Volunteer Items to Bring for Use in Hospital
The following items are ones that can always be put to use at BMC. If you can bring some of these it would be much appreciated.
- Unsterile & sterile gloves
- Printed copies of Medical Protocol
- Cloth tape/sports tape
- Ace bandages, all sizes
- Scissors, all sizes (remember to put in checked luggage!)
- Masks/caps/booties for theatre
- Disposable scrub brushes
- Crocs or shoes… leave them when you leave
- Small crayon boxes (5-10 colors) and coloring books is always a treat for the children in the pediatrics ward. Stickers and small candies are also much appreciated.
Meds & Supplies to Bring for Hospital
Please contact the physicians who are currently at BMC about what medical supplies you could bring ([email protected]).