How Ghana’s New Eco-Medical Village is Promoting Tourism

Nurses Conducting a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in Ghana
Nurses Conducting a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in Ghana | © Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti
Kwame Aidoo

Ghana and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) community will enjoy quality healthcare provision from the first ever African Eco-Medical Village (EMV). This public-private partnership, designed by architect Massimo Valli Architetto, will be situated in Accra on a 41-acre Achimota-West Legon land, though some areas of specialization will be spread throughout the ECOWAS sub-region.

The fundamental goal is to promote global health tourism. The health management system in the ECOWAS sector has been shaky, and as such those who can afford it, especially public officials, travel to seek medical attention in the UK, US, India, etc. Mr Peter Ahiekpor, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the EMV, who also had to travel to the UK every six months for medical a check-up, cites this situation as problematic and draining. So he came up with this wonderful project expected to be completed within 26 months.

Rising costs of healthcare

It has been estimated that Nigerians spend $2.5b (about N1.25t) to seek foreign medical services annually–$26m per month goes to India alone. In Ghana, the situation is no better. There are cases of brain drain and patient drain due to a fragile system and squandering. Ghana’s health sector is transitioning from a mainly government-sustained public sector to a complex of health service providers to solve the many challenges and to revamp the National Health Insurance.

The Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, gave access to the piece of land for the construction of the $476 million EMV project, which is expected to create about 5,000 jobs, be an outfit for both middle and upper level income groups, as well as generate around $899 million dollars for the country. Mr Ahiekpor believes that the project is an expression of hope that will put Ghana on the global healthcare map.

Making sense of the healthcare system

As Ghana takes the lead in healthcare provision in the ECOWAS sector, the EMV’s approach involves state-of-the-art resources, specialized patients and family education, thorough research, long-term support, and training opportunities for medical personnel.

The revolutionary availability of mobile apps and digital tech for healthcare in Ghana is currently a plus. Ghanaian e-health startup Eiko Health has launched Kenko Doctor, a new platform that allows users to book Uber-like transport.

Nurses conducting a medical readiness training exercise in Ghana

Elvin Blankson, founder of GoPharma aims to connect trained pharmacists in the city with untrained staff in rural facilities, helping people in rural Ghana gain access to modern medical advice. Bisa, meaning “ask” in the Ghanaian Twi language, allows users to digitally interact with medical practitioners. Cedric Foudjet, founder of Docta Ghana app, seeks to connect patients and doctors via his e-platform

Furthermore, as decent investment goes into the health sector, access to quality and economical healthcare will go to squash the old-fashioned capital leak from rampant medical tourism.

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