Putting the Focus on FOCOS

On the outskirts of the city of Accra lies a town called Pantang. Pantang is much different from areas like East Legon, Osu, and the other bustling areas in Accra, Ghana. It’s not too far away from the center of the country’s capital, but not so close that you get lost in the mix of everyday life.

What lies in Pantang is a private hospital where people from all over the world receive treatment for their orthopedic and spine diseases and conditions. Through a volunteer organization, I was placed at the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) Hospital to serve as a health educator for staff in addition to an English volunteer for students from Ethiopia.

Dr. Boachie-Adjei

FOCOS was created by Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei to provide quality orthopedic care to the citizens of Ghana. What started off as yearly voluntary trips to Dr. Boachie’s homeland has turned into a hospital providing care to adults and children, many of whom have been able to live long and productive lives after the help they receive at the hospital.

During my first day at FOCOS, my supervisor, Gertrude, took me around the hospital to see the wards, visit patients, and meet other hospital staff. On our walk, Gertrude spoke to me about the children, and some adults, from Ethiopia who come to FOCOS to receive treatment for severe scoliosis. I remember there being a day in elementary school where all the girls in my 4th or 5th grade class lined up as we made our way to the nurse’s office. Each of us had our spine checked to make sure we didn’t have scoliosis.

In public health, there are some areas where we give all our attention to…for me, scoliosis was never one of those areas of health. However, after meeting people impacted by the debilitating and painful disease, I have a better understanding of how devastating the disease can be. I met people who were not able to walk or care for themselves before they started receiving treatment, or had surgery at FOCOS, who are now walking and fully functional. The stories told to me and all that I saw with my own eyes was remarkable.  

Because of remarkable people like Dr. Boachie, and the entire campus of FOCOS working together, lives are literally being saved each and every day.

Want to learn about FOCOS or learn how you can sponsor a patient? Visit www.focoshospital.org.

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