President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday 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 Orthopedics and Complex Spine.
Receiving the award at the FOCOS NYC Gala ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said orthopaedic health conditions are severe among low and middle-income countries, which are under-resourced to provide adequate access to orthopaedic care.
President Akufo-Addo said it was as the reason why the work, being undertaken by FOCOS in Ghana and the rest of Africa was important and must be given the requisite support.
The President noted that ensuring timely access to safe and quality orthopaedic care can prevent disability and minimise 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.
"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 said.
He assured of the 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.
The government, he stressed, would 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 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 illustrated the 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, His Excellency Chick Framji, to inquire whether I knew how to contact a Ghanaian doctor by the name Dr. Boachie-Adjei. 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 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."
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)