Soon, the major holiday season is approaching. Deciding to spend some time away from home on a volunteer trip to Ghana is an amazing experience and will leave you undoubtedly with unforgettable memories for your entire life!
Whether you decide to teach others, help build communities or venture into the medical field……To make your (first) trip to Ghana even more unforgettable, we will share with you 3 common health mistakes among volunteers that can be easily avoided.
Mistake 1 – If you are in Ghana, do as all Ghanaians do!
Whiles this experience will surely become part of your daily routine, remember to take it slow!
Of course you are there to live the local lifestyle and experience the Ghanaian culture and cuisine from a different perspective, rather than going on a holiday trip. But ensure to take it one at a time, and then increase slowly.
Your body needs time to acclimatize itself to the different weather, spices and everything that comes along with it. You do not want to travel all the way to this beautiful country, only to spend the first few days sick in bed.
Mistake 2 – Giving 250% of yourself in the first few days!
Yes, you are here to contribute all your energy to the project you chose to assist with. But nobody expects you to overdo it. You should have been given a reasonable and measurable goal by your volunteer organization, clearly outlining your work load.
Working in a tropical climate, (especially if this is your first trip to the tropics) can be very different from what you might be used to. The high humidity and heat lets you feel weak much faster than what you might have expected. Once again, start slowly and work yourself up. Stay well hydrated and get enough rest.
Your health (and volunteer service provider) will thank you for it!
Mistake 3 – Stop taking your Antimalarial Prophylaxis!
Unfortunately, we hear this problem quite often among volunteers. Whether this is due to the inconvenience of taking the medication for the entire duration, or rather because a person would wish to copy the “local lifestyle”, it is not an advisable idea to pursue.
Nowadays, antimalarial medication is usually well tolerated and there are always options available, should one product not suit you well. Remember to start taking the medication well in advance, to test for possible side effects and to give you a window of time to change the product, should you develop signs of intolerance.
And whiles the local population is not immune against Malaria, they have a much higher level of tolerance against Malaria parasites and it might take much longer to develop symptoms than a foreign person might, who never had contact with the parasite before. But they do eventually also fall sick.
To read more about Malaria see our post 15 Facts about Malaria travelers to Ghana should be aware of.
So, to ensure you have the best time of your life and make the most out of your volunteer experience in Ghana simply follow these easy tips:
Take it slow, but steady!
Ask as many questions in advance as possible!
Know where to turn to in the unfortunate event of sickness!
AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL
Enjoy your volunteer stay in Ghana!!