Yesterday, I had an awesome opportunity to tag along with someone to a local hospital. The gentleman is a Liberian refugee. Unfortunately, he has elephantiasis (you’ve probably heard it called elephantitis) of the left foot. Basically, the tissue in his left foot has thickened, giving the foot a swollen appearance. He goes to the hospital regularly to have the dressing on his left ankle changed. He has a large, healing wound.
We arrived at the hospital and stepped onto the dirt road. As we walked around the puddles (the rainy season has started), I could hear people inside saying “Abruni” in Twi (a tribal language), which means white person. There was a short line outside the small building we entered for outpatient injections and dressings. There was the entranceway and a small room to the left and one to the right. Judging by the chair and bench, the room on the right appeared to be a consultation room with a few medical supplies. The room on the left had a patient table similar to something seen in a doctor’s office. It was covered with a sheet and a rubber-type material. There was also a wooden apparatus used to rest the gentleman’s foot while his dressing was changed. I learned that, unlike in the U.S., this patient has to purchase from a pharmacy and bring with him the topical medications used for his wound care. It was a valuable experience to see the Ghanaian facility.