President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has received, on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, the 2019 FOCOS Humanitarian Award for the country's "longstanding support for the Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine".
This was at the FOCOS NYC Gala ceremony, held in New York, United States (US).
Receiving the award, President Akufo-Addo said orthopaedic health conditions were severe among low and middle-income countries - less resourced to provide adequate access to orthopaedic care.
FOCOS, the acronym for the Foundation of orthopaedics and Complex Spine, is a non-profit organization founded in the US in 1989 by a Ghanaian orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei.
The foundation provides specialized orthopaedic care, education and training to underserved communities around world.
In Ghana, it is estimated that the injury results in an estimated 2,772 disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 people annually.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the work being undertaken by FOCOS in Ghana and the rest of Africa was "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", he said, ensuring timely access to safe and quality orthopaedic care could 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 added.
"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 underlined the government's unwavering determination to provide infrastructure and the needed human resources for orthopaedic services, and collaborate even more with institutions like FOCOS to enhance the country's expertise.
They would put in the necessary financial resources, through the Ministry of Health, to strengthen orthopaedic services.
For us, in Ghana, we are proud that this life-saving medical organization, 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.