Interview with my hostsister

When I lived in Ghana, I had a host sister. Her name is Mariam and she is 24 years old. From the moment we met, we had an instand connection and I immediately knew she was the person I wanted to have my interview with.

One evening we started talking about Ghana, and the differences between Ghana and Holland. This is how the conversation went:

Me: Mariam, do you have a healthcaresystem in Ghana? do you pay health insurance?

Mariam: In Ghana, we do have health insurance, but it is only around 15 Ghana cedi's (4 euro) a year. When you go to the hospital, only some of the medicine you get free. The expensive ones, you have to

Me: In holland, we pay around 100 euros a month, and we even have to pay a contribution of 350 euros a year. We have to pay a lot more, but most of the things we need in Holland, the insurance will pay. What happens when someone needs to go to the hospital? Does he have to pay everything himself?


Mariam: My father needed to go to the hospital some time ago. He has diabetes and he had to stay there for more than a month. My family didn't have enough money to pay for the expensive medicine he needed, so all the friends of my family raised money to help him. In Ghana, friends and family are the people who help you pay for the medicine when you are not able to pay for it.

Me: So you could say that family and friends are like a healthinsurance? Without them, you will not be able to pay for the medicine you need?

Mariam: yes, you are right, family and friends are the most important things in Ghana. You always have to take care of your friends and family.

Me: I think that is a nice thing, people helping eachother. I was wondering, what do you think about volluntary work in Ghana? Do you think it is important?

Mariam: I think voluntary work is very important! Volunteers can learn us things we don't know yet. There are enough people with talent in Ghana, but we don't know enough to create systems that work. More work need to be created in Ghana, and I think the way volunteers think, stimulates us to think about how we can develop our country. I hope one day, Ghana doesn't need help from other countries anymore, but at this point, we do.

Me: Well, than I am happy I am here haha. I think because of our culture, it is true that we can learn you something. But I think we can also learn a lot from the people in Ghana. In Holland, we always here people talking about children dying in Africa because they are starving. Are there a lot of children starving in Ghana?

Mariam: I don't think so. In the olden days, there was not enough food. But now I think in Ghana, no children die because they are starving. I know some people don't have enough food, but they don't die from it anymore.

Me: I am happy to hear that. Ofcourse, I would like to see that everyone in the world has enough to eat. But I am happy that, in your experience, no children die because of that reason in Ghana

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