Welcome to The African Cultural Exchange

Mercy Physician Assistant’s West Africa Health Care Assessment Mission 2023

The African Cultural Exchange

The Physician Assistants West Africa
Health Care Assessment Mission

MAY 12– MAY 21, 2023

Learn about Health Care Issues in 2 developing nations
-Senegal and
-The Gambia

-For all PA Students and those interested in Health Care Practices in West Africa
• Interact with your counterparts
• Learn about Cultures of Africa
• Assist with Health System Strengthening

Contact : Reginald Hughes, MD, MPH, FAAFP
The African Cultural Exchange
13843 226th Street
Tel: 917-862-2864/ 888-748-0843
Fax: 866-223-7072
E-mail : info@theafricanculturalexchange.org

The West Africa –Physician Assistants Health Care Assessment Mission

What is the Physician Assistants West Africa Health Care Assessment Mission (PAWAHCAM)?
This project is an introductory Global Health and health care in Africa program designed for Physician Assistant Students, administrators, and other health care workers with an interest in health care in Africa. The mission is also designed to introduce the participant to the cultures of the 2 host countries and their impact on health. The PA Health Care Mission allows students to obtain an intimate view of the health care systems in two developing nations in Africa. It is an exploration mission that draws on the expertise of The African Cultural Exchange in fostering professional and cross-cultural interactions between counterparts all around the continent of Africa. These partnerships provide the framework for continued relationships that lead to two-way benefit and participants often gain insights into managing an array of problems faced in their home settings. These partnerships are encouraged by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG17) of creating Global Partnerships for sustainable development which work toward promoting health system strengthening. The cross-cultural experience gained is also often invaluable in aiding the participant in understanding immigrant population health care issues in the U.S.

Program Highlights:
• Designed for Health Care students and those interested in Global Health
• Interact with your professional counterpart
• Learn about the Health Care Systems in Francophone Senegal and English speaking The Gambia
• Improve cultural awareness

About The African Cultural Exchange
A US-based nonprofit organization founded in 1989, The ACE conducts cross-cultural, educational, developmental and healthcare projects throughout Africa. The organization supports projects in Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Zambia, Rwanda, and Kenya.


We are happy to invite you to join us on this unique experience to explore the health care systems in two West African countries – Senegal and The Gambia. During the 10 -day journey you will explore the inner workings of the health care systems in these countries and observe the work of your counterparts to gain insight into critical global health issues such as child and maternal mortality, and medical management in Africa. Also you will forge new significant partnerships while simultaneously experiencing the splendor, power and culture of Africa . In conjunction with the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the purpose of the Physician Assistant West Africa Health Care Mission (PA-WAHCAM) is to give health care students and those interested in medical management in Africa the opportunity to learn about healthcare in low and middle income countries and to hopefully develop long-term strategies for assisting with the improvement of health care at home and in the developing world.

The Sacred Baobab Tree

About the Countries

, with a population of about 14 million, is equipped with one of Africa’s most efficient and modern infrastructures. Yet the nation is ranked 18th from the bottom on the UNDP’s human development index. The Wolof make up the largest ethnic group and their language is a lingua franca in Senegal along with French, the official language.

The Gambia, a nation of about 1.7 million people is the ancestral home of Kunta Kinte of Roots fame. The nation’s Primary Health Care system focuses on villages with over 400 where a Village Health Worker and Traditional Midwife are trained to deliver primary health care to their village of responsibility. This very peaceful former British colony, with its beautiful beaches now boasts tourism as its main industry.

The African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal, West Africa

About The Program Leaders

Dr. Reginald Hughes, MD, MPH, FAAFP

President and founder of The A.C.E., has broad experience in Africa. His interest in Primary Health Care, Sickle Cell Anemia and Health Care Recovery have led him to over 20 countries in Africa over the past 25 years. He is also the founder of the TARRACE, The Trans Africa Road Rally of the African Cultural Exchange, where teams traverse the continent to connect the health care community.

Mr. Tamba Johnny, ACE Sierra Leone Country Director, will lead the group from Senegal and has extensive experience with health care systems through-out Africa, hosting medical students, coordinating health care groups, and coordinating the TARRACE-Trans Continental Health Care Road Rally. Mr. Johnny has coordinated with health care and sickle cell teams in Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Uganda to name a few.

Dr. Kwame Torian Easterling, MD, MPH, is Director of Medical Programs for The African Cultural Exchange and also has extensive health care experience in Africa, including in Senegal, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Dr. Easterling is dedicated to the improvement of health care in Africa and is engaged in research, Sickle Cell-outreach, and promoting health care exchange for US health care professionals as well as for medical students and medical residents to and from Africa.

A word about the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic continues around the world. The two countries which we will visit currently do not have any quarantine restrictions. Each participant is expected to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Additionally each participant agrees to comply with all health regulations including testing, social distancing and face covering as required. This notice is subject to change and update.


Registration Information:

Payments: Total Program Costs – $2615 double occupancy (and $2930 single occupancy)
• Registration and $100 deposit due upon decision or by November15, 2022.
• 1st payment due Dec 15, 2022.
• 6 monthly payment of $419.17 due on Dec. 15, 2022 and on Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, 15th,2023 with final payment due May 1, 2023.

Includes: airfare from JFK NYC, food, accommodations, visas and ground transportation.

Register and make payments at the ACE We Travel Site at the link below:
For more information and questions contact Dr. Reginald Hughes at:
Tel: 917-862-2864/ 888-748-0843
Fax: 866-223-7072

The Travel


A visa is required to enter The Gambia for US Passport holders. No visa is required for entry into Senegal with a US passport.


An electronic travel medical briefing will be provided via email. Discuss this briefing with your physician to obtain your international yellow book along with the necessary immunizations for entry into each country, including COVID 19 vaccinations.


The temperature in West Africa will range in the mid-80’s to 90’s, therefore light clothing is recommended. Sunscreen, light clothing and short sleeve shirts will also aid in comfort during any hot spells. Slippers are needed for the shower. An effective mosquito repellent and mosquito netting are necessary. A packing list will be provided.

The Itinerary