More than likely you’ve been to the doctor or have gotten medicine when you’ve felt sick and it was pretty easy to do – but that’s not the case everywhere in the world, especially for locals in Ghana, a part of West Africa. While Ghana does have healthcare and various public health programs, their system is very different from the U.S.
Below are just a few of the ways that health and wellness are different in Ghana.
Ghana – Ghana has the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) that everyone in Ghana registers with. NHIS pays for hospitalizations, doctor visits, and some medications, but there is a lot they do not cover like HIV medications, photos/visual records of a patient’s condition, and medical examinations for school or work.
U.S. – The U.S. has the Affordable Care Act. There is a certain time where people are able to enroll, re-enroll, or change their insurance plan. Health insurance helps pay for medical services and certain prescription drugs. The insurance you have pays for a certain percentage of the cost of the procedure or drug and then you end up paying the rest.
Difference – Ghana does not offer separate plans for people to choose from or the option of children to stay on their parents plan until they are 26; they have one plan for everyone.
Common Infections and Diseases
Ghana – Common infections in Ghana include Typhus, Tuberculosis, HIV, and Malaria while diseases include cancer, diabetes, and heart problems.
U.S. – Several popular infections in the U.S. include Salmonella, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis; common diseases include heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Asthma and much more.
Difference – Ghana does not have as up to date technology or drugs as the U.S. when it comes to treating these infections and diseases. So someone diagnosed with cancer in Ghana may not have access to chemotherapy treatment or insulin shots for diabetes.
Ghana – Most women give birth at the hospital but it is common for women to die during or after childbirth.
U.S. – Women typically give birth at the hospital but some opt to give birth at home with the help of a midwife.
Difference – Ghana does have midwives but no where near the amount of midwives in the U.S. It is also common in Ghana for mothers and their babies to be detained in the health facility because they do not pay the medical bills.
To find out more about health and wellness in Ghana, visit the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Contributed by Samantha Watkins