to develop and translate into the economy to enable the citizenry to live in dignity.
He cautioned that government cannot do it all encouraging the private sector to do its share because "if government should try to spoon feed the community, then people will be lazy."
He said this at the maiden fundraising event of the Foundation for Orthopaedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) Hospital as the special guest of honour at the Movenpick hotel last Saturday.
The event was aimed at raising an initial target of GHS5 million to establish the FOCOS Children Endowment Fund.
The funds will be drawn to assist children suffering from scoliosis (hunchback) receive treatment at the country’s premier and first class state of the arts orthopaedics and spine hospital in Accra.
Recounting his experience as a patient at FOCOS about five years ago, the former President Kufuor stressed the importance to encourage and have confidence in local talents and professionals in every endeavor.
He said surgeons like the founder and CEO of FOCOS, Professor Emeritus Oheneba Boachie-Adjei should be encouraged by ensuring that government supports ‘the private sector with incentives…because if the private sector grows, it will then benefit and translate into the country.’
He observed, "look at FOCOS; it engages doctors, nurses, paramedics, laborers, everybody for employment – and that is helping spread the wealth for people to live in dignity".
Taking that difficult decision to allow Prof, Boachie-Adjei and his team to operate on him at FOCOS as against options he had abroad after several consultations and considerations on his chances, Mr Kufuor alluded to the famous ‘all die be die’ quote.
He said, "if I may should be permitted for making this quote – it occurred to me that all die be die – you could go to Europe and die, you could go to America and die and you could go to Asia and die, so if it will be death, why not here in Ghana? So I submitted to Dr. Bochie-Adjei," he said.
Giving an overview of the hospital’s mission, Prof. Emeritus Oheneba Boachie-Adjei appealed to all to let their God given talent be of enormous benefit to the society.
"In the Bible, it is said every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plane; this verse in many ways motivates and inspires the mission and vision of FOCOS.
We consider ourselves as God’s instruments and in this world, we are sharing our God-given talent to straighten up people who unfortunately are suffering from physical deformity".
Beyond personally conducting surgeries successfully, he disclosed he has brought up at least two doctors who have diligently learnt at his feet over the years and he is convinced can take over from him in his absence.
The two specialist, Dr. Harry Akoto and Dr. Kwadwo Yankey were honoured and acknowledged as the first set of Scoliosis/Spine fellows on the night of fundraising.
Both successfully completed the Scoliosis/Spine Fellowship training in 2016 while learning under Professor Boachie-Adjei since the opening of the FOCOS hospital.
A number of patients needing urgent surgery were adopted by some individuals for treatment.
Other donors also gave cash and kind with Asuma Banda providing an MRI machine and other equipment needed at the hospital. Unibank made the highest donation with a sum of GHS1 million in of the hospital’s operations.
Also present were some Ministers of state, members of the diplomatic corps and heads of very renowned heads of corporate institutions and philanthropic organisations.
Close to GHS2 million was raised at the maiden fundraising dinner. Prospective donors are encouraged to make their donations to the Unibank account details below:
A/C Name: FOCOS ENDOWMENT FUND
A/C No: 02131100681 Branch: World Trade Centre, Accra.