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Taking Our Talents Home: FOCOS

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The tumultuous state of Africa’s political, economic and social issues often blinds the rest of the world to the consistency of advancement within the continent. I believe that this growth can be greatly attributed to Africans abroad that dedicate their energy and time to the progress of their nations. After years abroad, some Africans overlook the main reasons that drove them to travel in the first place. These reasons usually include, pursuing a better education, the opportunity to gain a higher quality of life, or searching for greener pastures. Regardless of what the reasons may be, most Africans travel with the intent of making improvements in their families or communities back home. With that being said it is imperative to recognize those abroad that are taking great strides to ensure the advancement of their communities.

A prime example is Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei and his non-profit organization FOCOS. Dr. Boachie-Adjei was born in Kumasi, Ghana on December 16, 1950 and immigrated to the United States in 1972 where earned a Bachelor’s degree in science (Summa Cum Laude) from Brooklyn College. He then received his MD degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1980. With such an impressive background Dr. Boachie-Adjei went on to build an amazing resume, which included holding positions as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California as well as the University of California’s College of Medicine. He was also the Associate Medical Director at the Southern California Complex Spine and Scoliosis Center in Whittier. Aside from this, Dr. Boachie- Adjei has made extensive contributions to his field and holds several patents for devices used in orthopedic surgery. His excellence in the orthopedic field has been recognized through several awards such as the Science and Peace Gold Medal (Humanitarian Award) in 2005, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) Humanitarian Award in 2004.

While gaining such immense success abroad, Dr. Boachie-Adjei began making great contributions to his native nation. He founded FOCOS (The Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine) in 1998. FOCOS is a non-profit organization that aims to provide affordable, comprehensive, orthopedic and spine treatment to undeserved communities within Ghana and all of West Africa. With contributions from nearly 2000 donors and the services of dedicated volunteers, FOCOS has evaluated thousands of patients from all over Africa and has performed 800 corrective procedures within both the pediatric and adult communities in Ghana. These contributions have also helped in the construction of a 50-bed facility (The FOCOS Hospital and Rehabilitation Institute). Dr. Boachie-Adjei and FOCOS serve as a personification of growth and development for any underserved community. FOCOS is an epitome of the great good that can be achieved through the action of devoted African’s abroad. The beautiful thing about the world we live in is that every region has something extraordinary to offer. If the Africans living in the different corners of the world can utilize these distinct factors, apply them to their areas of interest and create establishments (organization, businesses, programs) in their communities, African nation would be spearheaded into inconceivable success.

For more information on Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei and FOCOS please visit http://www.orthofocos.org

-Joy Otibu

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