holistic development

Brigades / Medical / Brigade Overview / Ghana «

1 Medical Ghana Brigade Overview Banner PNG.png


Due to the continued deterioration and uncertainty of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and consequent lack of volunteers' capacity to participate, we regretfully announce that Global Brigades is indefinitely suspending all Brigades to Ghana. However, it is with unwavering commitment to communities that we will continue the momentum of health and development programs with a newly structured GB Ghana team working in partnership with local NGOs and governmental agencies.


At this time, what we need most is for the enthusiasm and passion of leaders and volunteers who were planning on going to Ghana, to participate in Central America. As one GB Family, portions of those funds will also go toward Ghana operations. In addition, we are strongly encouraging volunteers and donors to directly support our continued efforts in Ghana through aspecial fundraising campaign HERE. Please contact your Chapter Advisor for more information.


By acting together, we will only grow stronger through this time of adversity and return to Ghana better than ever.


What is a Medical Brigade?Panama Icon Not Selected V3.pngNicaragua Icon Not Selected V2.pngHonduras Icon Not Selected V2.pngGhana Icon Selected V2.png

The mission of Medical Brigades is to provide comprehensive health

services in rural communities with limited access to healthcare by

having volunteerswork alongside local licensed medical

professionals. Our current focus is in Ghana, Honduras, Nicaragua

and Panama. Medical Brigade volunteers have the opportunity to

shadow licensed professionals in consultations and assist in filling

necessary prescriptions under the direction of alicensed

pharmacists. Each of our partner communities receives a brigade

every 3 to 6 months where hundreds of patients are provided one

on one consultations, public health workshops, and given the

proper medication or referral. Electronic patient records are

collected through Data Informatics to monitor overall community

health trends. Between brigades our in-country team maintains

relationships with the communities to provide follow-up care and



Volunteer brigade participation may vary based on the medical

background and skill of the volunteer. Volunteers with little to no

medical experience have the opportunity to assist during Triage,

shadow doctors during consultations, deliver educational

workshops, and help pack medications under the supervision

of a local pharmacist. All patient consultations as well as  the prescribing of medications is  done only by licensed doctors. Regardless of medical skill level, all volunteers contribute to the clinic. Furthermore, volunteers have the opportunity to learn about providing sustainable healthcare to rural communities who would otherwise have limited access.


Brigade Length & Logistics

The Medical Brigade in Ghana lasts for a total of 10 days. All mobile medical clinics in Ghana incorporate a Dental station in addition to general and OB-GYN consultations. This ensures a holistic approach to healthcare in the community. Interested Medical Chapters will work with a Global Brigades Chapter Advisor to select their brigade dates and book their airfare through Global Brigades' travel partners. Each Chapter then fundraises for the $880 program contribution and airfare on empowered.org. Upon arrival in Ghana, Global Brigades staff pick up students from the airport and transport them to a safe and secure lodging facility within the Central Region of Ghana. This is where they will be lodged throughout the duration of the brigade. The group will travel to the same community for seven consecutive days, four of which are clinic days, providing students ample opportunity to engage in Ghanaian culture.  All meals, in-country transportation, coordinators, interpreters, and lodging are provided during the brigade.


How is the Brigade Funded? >>

Meet Past Medical Brigaders

Meet Iris

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras, Panama, and Ghana
Pennsylvania State University, United States

"Like many pre-medical students, I initially joined Global Medical Brigades because I was told that it would look good on my medical school applications. However, after returning from my first trip to Honduras my sophomore year of college, I realized that health is attributed by a variety of factors aside from the diseases themselves. In the community that we went to, San Diego Dali, the most common ailments would have been easily preventable had they had the proper infrastructure to do so. After returning from this brigade, I actively sought out classes that dissected the root cause of health in developing countries—this led me to my Global Health Minor. This minor, my study abroad program in South Africa, and being elected co-president of Global Medical Brigades at Penn State for my junior and senior year all evidently shifted my mentality about wanting to practice medicine as a physician. I realized that I was able to make much more of an impact influencing pre-medical students to think about health in a different manner by exposing them to an experience such as the brigade trips. This in combination with providing them the resources to communicate and learn from the community members we treat, will hopefully breed a new generation of culturally competent and accepting individuals."


Meet Cheryl

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Ghana
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, United States

"I had the opportunity to brigade to Ghana last winter break and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Before going to Ghana with the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Medical Brigade, I was hoping that this clinical trip would give me an introduction to the medical field in a less developed country. I expected to learn about the health care system in Ghana as well as learn some elementary medical skills. I soon found out that this trip was beyond my expectations, because my experiences in Ghana didn’t just give me a glimpse of the medical field; it boosted my passion to become a pediatrician exponentially."

Meet Roxanne

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
UC Berkeley, United States

"What amazes me too is how holistic Global Brigades is. Each day of the brigade had a Medical, Dental, and Gynecology component in it. Patients attended a community charla (workshop) that educates them about key health practices. We were able to suture a patient whose left hand got caught in between his horse and a fence. The brigaders also provided Dental Education and fluoride treatment to over 30 children during our Pilot Day. Truly, Global Brigades empowered us to provide medical and dental services even in the most remote locations.

Yes, there is so much more that needs to be done. But we will do the work one brigade at a time until one day the communities we serve can thrive on their own. Many thanks to Global Brigades for giving me an opportunity to go beyond my borders and touch lives in Honduras! It truly was the trip of my lifetime. Hasta Luego!"

Meet Michelle

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
College of William and Mary, United States

"The great thing about a Medical Brigade is how incredibly holistic it is. Aside from triage, physician consultations, and the pharmacy, our brigade also included a dental station, a gynecology station, as well as public health charlas for children and adults. Health is affected by so many different factors, and I was really happy that, in addition to treating illnesses, we were also helping prevent them by teaching the children how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth. This knowledge will follow them and prevent them from getting sick for the rest of their lives.

The brigade also forced me to re-evaluate my own life. Being so fortunate to have grown up in the United States, it’s easy to get caught up in the little things and not appreciate all that I have at home. Seeing how happy and grateful the people of Mata de Platano are despite how little they have, and seeing the children’s faces light up into the most beautiful smiles at the sight of a sticker…it’s indescribable."

Meet Alana

Dental & Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
Oakland University, United States

"Going on a medical brigade to Honduras was the best decision I ever made.
I feel like there’s so much more to life now. When you have an experience that changes you so much, that calls into question everything you’ve ever known about life, of course you’re going to have many things swirling around in your head. So many things you can’t even put into words. I think of my brigade experience as placing a mirror in front of my life and making me see (and even question) the choices I make and the way I live.  I found myself asking questions like:
- How can I make a difference locally and globally?
- What should I do to help others?
- Why didn’t I think of this sooner?


The brigade experience – it’s so wonderful. I never knew that something in life could have such a profound effect on me.  Never did I think that a week-long trip with my fellow classmates would change me so much. Since returning from Honduras last December, I have been empowered to become more active within Global Brigades at my  school. My hope is to motivate fellow students to make a difference and become involved in a cause like Global Brigades."

Meet Megan

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
UC San Diego, United States

"Having done Medical Brigades for the past three years, I feel like my experiences have evolved over time.  To be honest, when I first arrived in Honduras for a brigade, I loved it.  I enjoyed stripping away luxuries of my American life, as well as being immersed in the culture of Latin America.  During my first brigade, my favorite memories involved working in Triage.  I enjoyed talking directly to the community members, hearing insight into their daily life, and realizing the health issues that they were struggling with prior to our brigade in their community.  After this first brigade, I realized my passion for patient care and direct patient interaction, which helped define my future career choices.  My second year as a brigader, I became an officer, and learned a little about the inner workings of Global Brigades as an organization. I enjoyed leading other brigaders, sharing my passion for serving under-resourced communities, as well as distinguishing why Global Brigades is so much better than other volunteer organizations because of their emphasis on making a sustainable impact in the communities we help.

While leading the brigade this past year, my favorite part was helping to empower brigaders for all that we do in Honduras, and making real connections with the communities we visited during our Medical and Pilot Day brigades. This year, experiencing Architecture Brigades one day, seeing what Public Health and Water Brigades also did in that community, combined with learning about other volunteer organizations at school, finally made me realize the importance of Global Brigades’ role as a whole."

Meet Ganga

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Ghana
University of Oklahoma, United States

"Perhaps the greatest thing about Global Brigades has been getting to immerse myself in the culture of the people we serve.  The communities truly welcome you as one of their own and the relationships that are formed allow GB to integrate into part of these individuals’ lives rather than serve as outsiders. This adds to the model of sustainable development and makes the work even more meaningful. During our trip to Ghana this January, I saw first hand how GB’s model works to improve communities wholly and engages work on multiple, connected development issues. Understanding and connecting these issues to specific individuals and taking into consideration their traditions, values, and needs allowed us to engage the people of our communities to take ownership of their health and have them join us to improve their lives. The greatest lesson I learned was that development must allow people to help themselves. Without empowering people and showing them that they can take measures to improve their own lives, development fails to be sustainable and GB does an incredible job of sharing this vision with students."

Meet Laura

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
University of Oklahoma, United States

"Passion. This word sparked my initiative to implement a positive change in today’s world. Inevitably, in combination with my passion for medicine, this initiative paved my journey towards health equity; I strove to help aid the billion people suffering in destitute poverty with little, or no access to healthcare. As a product of passion, I launched a chapter of Global Medical Brigades at Oakland University. Together, as a group of Oakland University students, we worked to organize and plan a medical brigade. Our goal was to provide free healthcare to as many people as possible in a rural Honduran community.

Global Brigades launched with the insight of this powerful idea; that, as students, we have the capability of changing our world, and empowering our collegiate communities. As students we stand as influential advocates for global health, and socioeconomic development in the Developing World...


Global Brigades has provided me with so many incredible opportunities. My Honduran experiences reaffirmed my passion for humanitarianism, as well as, medicine. Not only have I grown as a person, but the skills I have acquired as a Global Brigades’ student leader are priceless. Thank you, Global Brigades and all the wonderful student leaders Global Brigades encompasses. Keep up the great work!"

Meet Mariam

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
UC Irvine, United States

"Leaving Honduras and coming home becomes more difficult each trip I take with Global Medical Brigades at UC Irvine. I made sure to advise our first-time brigaders to hang on to who they were in Honduras. It is far too easy for us to fall back into our old ways as soon as we come back home. The opportunities we have been blessed with give us the power to make a constructive impact on these underprivileged communities. My experience in Honduras has helped me grow as a person because now I know not to complain when I’m faced with hardships. I am lucky enough to be able to eat when I am hungry, to sleep when I am tired, and to actually be bored because I don’t have to spend all of my time working to get some food on the table. My experience with Global Brigades has truly opened my eyes and inspired me to continue visiting less fortunate countries to make sustainable changes."

Meet Josh

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Panama
UC Santa Cruz, United States

"My experience in Panama with Medical Brigades was one of the most influential opportunities I have ever participated in. I decided to go on this trip without knowing what Panama truly represents; I knew that it was in Central America and I could locate it on a map, and it was composed of dense jungle, but I didn’t really know anything else. Panama, in my mind, was this foreign land too foreign to comprehend. However, after spending a week in the beautiful country, working and treating local patients around rural communities of the Darien and Panama Districts, I acquired a sense of compassion and fondness for the individuals we interacted with and for the country as a whole."

Meet Kelley

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras & Panama
University of Texas at Austin, United States

"Working in these small villages, meeting community members of a culture I didn’t even know existed, was a truly humbling experience. At first I thought of how fortunate we were to be from the United States, not having to worry about survival on a daily basis or disease being almost completely inescapable.

However by the end of trip, I remember staring out the bus windows, watching passing homes and families and being witness to true happiness. These people were the fortunate ones, untainted by insignificant ordeals. Sometimes we get caught up with trivial matters of convenience and glamour, competing to be the best, that we forget how powerful love can be. Whether it is between family members, friends, or with the local physician, I feel North Americans could learn a lot from these rural communities."

Meet Tiffany

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
Pennsylvania State University, United States

"I am a sophomore premed major at Penn State University. Being an average, middle-class American girl from Pennsylvanian suburbia, I grew up under the notion that healthcare is something that is available to all. Even the uninsured can walk into an ER and receive care. My most memorable brigade experience was seeing a 30+ year old Honduran woman be diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer, giving her only months left to live. It’s something that simply does not occur in the US due to medical advances and the comforts of living in a “1st world” nation. It has opened my eyes to the dire need of medical care abroad and has fueled my drive to further my education, become an outstanding physician, and serve wherever my skills will be most needed."

Meet Priscilla

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras & Ghana
UC Los Angeles, United States

"I am third year, pre-medical, International Development Studies major at the University of California, Los Angeles. As one of the leaders for the Medical Brigades at UCLA, I have been on four GB trips to Honduras, and one to Ghana. My most memorable Brigade experience was being made one of the chiefs for the community of Ekumfi Abuakwa, Central Region, Ghana in December 2011. The humbling experience was pivotal to my personal growth. Honestly, I cannot find the correct words to articulate my emotions at the closing ceremony. Just overwhelmingly heartwarming, and speechless. All I can say is medaase paa for reigniting that flame of hope and motivation.

Additionally, the experience reinforced my aspiration to create a positive impact on global health, as well as holistic and sustainable development, through grass-root community involvement. It further cultivated my understanding of community respect and appreciation. Moreover, it has inspired me to apply that knowledge and skill to the structural inequality in my life back home and surrounding Los Angeles area."

Meet Aledandria

Medical Brigades Volunteer to Honduras
University of Texas at Austin, United States

"I had an amazing experience here and I can’t wait to come back. You guys have really treated us like family and I really don’t want to leave. I’m so excited to start my own chapter at the University of Texas at San Antonio and come right back next summer. I have enjoyed it all!! I have learned to be appreciative of everything I have because these beautiful people here are happy with less than what I have. I have never had an opportunity like this before and I’m thankful that UT Austin allowed me to share this wonderful experience with them. This has opened my eyes to many things. I had so much fun with the children. They loved me and I loved them! You guys really do mean well to this world and I am proud to say that I participated with this amazing organization. You guys have prepared me so much for my future dental career and I am thankful for the laughs and lifelong memories. See you soon!"

Meet Medical Community Members

Meet Irma

Medical Brigades Community Member
Santa María Valle de Jamastran, El Paraíso, Honduras

"Thanks to the brigade for helping me. You don’t know how much this medicine helps me. In the Health Cetner there is not a lot of medication but with this brigade we get the help we need and this makes us feel good. I want to give thanks to the brigade and the students who treat us with such kindness."

Meet Santos

Medical Brigades Community Member
Buena Vista, Honduras

"I want to say thank you for all the work that you’ve done and for the help that this brigade has brought to us. We have been working with Global Brigades for over 5 years. You guys have taught me to be a better person to others. Thank you for everything."

Meet Irma

Medical Brigades Community Member
Santa Rosa #1, Honduras

"The brigades are a huge help to our community and to us...It is especially great for the children because medicine is so expensive around here and we do not have the means to buy it. These students are a blessing. How could we not be thankful for these brigades? Thank you for all you do and I hope you make it safely to your homes."