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President Akufo-Addo receives 2019 FOCOS Humanitarian Award

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Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has received the 2019 FOCOS Humanitarian Award, on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, for the country’s “longstanding support for the Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine”.

Receiving the award on Monday, September 23, 2019, at the FOCOS NYC Gala ceremony, President Akufo-Addo noted that orthopaedic health conditions are severe among low and middle-income countries, which are less resourced to provide adequate access to orthopaedic care.

In Ghana, it is estimated that the injury results in an estimated 2,772 disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 people annually.

That is why, according to President Akufo-Addo, the work being undertaken by FOCOS in Ghana and the rest of Africa is very important, and must be given the requisite support.

With Ghana having defined Universal Health Coverage to mean that “all people in Ghana will have timely access to high quality health services irrespective of ability to pay at the point of use”, the President noted that ensuring timely access to safe and quality orthopaedic care can prevent disability, and minimize healthcare costs associated with delayed treatment.

“That is why Government, to complement the work being done by the FOCOS Hospital in Accra, has established the Limb Fitting Centre (LFC), under the Ghana Health Service, to provide orthopaedic care for all Ghanaians,” he said.

The President continued, “Our Regional and District Hospitals, under the Ghana Health Service, also support the LFC to provide holistic orthopaedic care for all. The Teaching Hospitals are being equipped to provide highly specialized orthopaedic care for complicated trauma and injury cases.”

President Akufo-Addo reiterated Government’s commitment to providing infrastructure and the needed human resources for orthopaedic services, and collaborate even more with institutions like FOCOS to enhance the country’s expertise.

Government, he stressed, will put in the necessary financial resources, through the Ministry of Health, to strengthen orthopaedic services in Ghana.

“For us, in Ghana, we are proud that this life-saving medical organisation, established some twenty (20) years ago, and responsible for two thousand, four hundred and five (2,405) successful life-changing surgeries, was founded by a Ghanaian from Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, its President, Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, a global icon in orthopaedic surgery,” he said.

Paying glowing tribute to Dr. Boachie-Adjei, a man described by his peers as a “true artist of the spine”, the President recounted an incident that vividly illustrates this description.

“I was woken up one morning, sometime in 2012, in Accra, by a call from my friend, the former Indian High Commissioner to Ghana when I was Foreign Minister, His Excellency Chick Framji, to inquire whether I knew how to contact a Ghanaian doctor by name Dr. Boachie-Adjei. Apparently, a cousin of his, who had been to see a specialist over his complicated spinal problems in New York, had been informed that there was only one person in the world who could help him, a Ghanaian called Boachie-Adjei,” he explained.

The President added that “His cousin naturally turned to him because of his familiarity with Ghana. I promised to get back to him, and contacted my personal physician, the renowned Ghanaian doctor, Professor Yaw Adu Gyamfi, who promptly gave me Boachie-Adjei’s contact, which I then sent to Chick Framji. The cousin saw Dr. Boachie-Adjei, and the rest, as they say, is history. He was duly healed.”   

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