MSIH Students Explore Healthcare in Africa With a Neonatal Project in Kumasi, Ghana


Ghana Maternity Ward

Maternity Ward in Ghana

Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, has a population of 2.2 million and is the capital of the Ashanti region. The city is involved in the Millennium Cities Initiatives (MCI) of the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Kumasi is a center of advancement for healthcare in Africa, due to unique partnerships like the MCI and Soroka Medical Center.

Neonatal Program

Since 2006 a team of neonatologists from Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center have been involved in a project aimed to improve neonatal care in Kumasi. The team, comprising among others Dr. Agneta (Agi) Golan and Prof Emeritus of MSIH, Miki Karplus, trains doctors and nurses in neonatal care. In their 11 years of involvement, they have also established two model neonatal units, MBUs (Mother Baby Units) – one in Suntreso Hospital and the other in Kumasi South Hospital. The units care for sick term and low birth weight infants using low tech interventions such as Kangaroo Mother care. They serve as models for other hospitals in Ghana.

The project is supported by MASHAV (Israel’s Ministry of External Affairs), an American NGO, Alliance for Global Good, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center.

MSIH Students Exploring Healthcare in Africa

Neonatologist, Dr. Eilon Shany, comforts incubated child in Ghana

Neonatologist, Dr. Eilon Shany, comforts incubated child in Ghana

Between 2016-17 some 15 MSIH joined the team in Israel to carry out a cost analysis study on the neonatal units.  The students review the medical and nursing records of the newborns treated in the units with a view to standardizing neonatal intensive care within the Ghanaian health care system.

International Clerkships

Such was the success of the students’ interaction that MSIH opened an international clerkship site in Ghana, and from January -March 2018, five MSIH 4th year students did clinical training a Kumasi South Hospital.

The clerkship  included:

  • A two-week rotation in the neonatal MBUs of Suntreso and Kumasi South hospitals and Konfo Anokye neonatal department.
  • Three weeks rotation in a rural community hospital in Ashanti region.
  • Two weeks in the adult E.R. and the pediatric E.R. of Konfo Anokye (KATH) Referral and Teaching Hospital.
  • One week rotation with the Rural Psychiatric Mobile Unit (Established by Dr Ori Schwartzman an Israeli psychiatrist who continues to supervise the unit).

MSIH is dedicated to training future doctors who believe in global health principles and implement them in places ranging from Kumasi to Chicago. To learn more about MSIH’s unique perspective on global health, download a copy of the 2018 Medicine and Global Health Report.

2018 Medicine and Global Health Report