Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa
Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa

Nation's wealth tied to citizens' health - Prof Akosa

“The wealth of a nation is the health of its citizens”, says a renowned cellular pathologist and lifestyle wellness consultant, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa.


He argued that no country’s wealth was built nor was reliant solely on its natural resources.

Referencing countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore, Prof Akosa explained that, despite lacking natural resources, these countries educated their people and grew their economies.

“A typical example is Hong Kong and Singapore. They have no natural resources, they have people, they have educated the people to the hilt and the people have grown their economy. All of us that have natural resources we go under what is called the ‘curse of natural resources’”, he stated.

He was leading a discussion on practical ideas intended to improve quality health in Ghana as part of the Graphic National Dialogue Series on “Quality Health for All”at the Ghana Shippers Authority Hall at Ridge in Accra on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Prof Akosa who is also a former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), noted that health is an expensive resource, and countries that spend significantly on health show their commitment to their healthcare systems.

“Health is expensive. Let’s not assume that health is, just go your backyard pick a few leaves, mush them up, drink them up and that’s it. And you are in good health. If you go to countries that spend 4000 per capita, per individual on healthcare. And that is not out of pocket. That is the country’s commitment to the healthcare system”, he explained.

He indicated that the health of the population in Ghana was not good, pointing out the chronic diseases that now prevail due to demographic and epidemiological transitions.

“The fact that we have allowed ourselves (I don’t think we have a choice) to go through those transitions, the demographics and epidemiological transitions we now are encountering the chronic diseases that take a very long time to treat”, he said.

He stressed that individuals were responsible for their health and could not solely rely on the country’s health system.

“Your health, is in your own hands. To a very large extent. If you want to stay healthy, you can stay healthy but if you want to go with the flow, you will get caught by the health system that might not deliver at the time that you need that delivery”, he stated.

Prof. Akosa, therefore urged people to acquire information about their health and that of their family members.

“It is important that all of us, information that you need on health abounds. But somehow, the Ghanaian is reticent to want to find out information. It is so sad that if you ask people about family history, people don’t know. And yet when a relation dies, they don’t even want an autopsy. So how in the end do you expect to understand and appreciate the diseases that run through families?”, he questioned. 

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