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COCOA CLINIC MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH COMMEMORATIVE LECTURE

Date: 11th August 2023

Cocoa Clinic, a subsidiary of Ghana Cocoa Board has marked its 50 years of providing excellent healthcare, with an enlightening anniversary lecture which revealed how it intends to leverage its strengths and seize new opportunities to chart new pathways to remain competitive.  

The event brought together participants drawn from medicine, academia, past Chief Executives of COCOBOD, staff as well as administrators of the Clinic to reflect on the clinic’s illustrious history and its profound impact on healthcare, with insightful thoughts on the past, present, and future of medical care at the clinic. 

The lecture, titled “Cocoa Clinic @ 50: Building on a Good Legacy for Excellent Service Delivery” offered a profound glimpse into the clinic’s rich history, tracing its humble beginnings to its present day standing as one of the pillars of healthcare providers in the country.  

Driven by a passion and an unyielding dedication to patient care, Cocoa Clinic has evolved from a staff-oriented health facility to become a renowned healthcare institution that has touched countless lives. 

In a speech by Professor Paul Nyame, the first Medical Director of Cocoa Clinic, the Octogenarian recounted what led to the decision to establish the clinic. According to him, Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), then Cocoa Marketing Board, decided to start the clinic not only to provide access to an in-house health facility for the medical needs of its staff but also to manage its medical bills.  

While lauding the efforts of the former First Lady of Ghana, Mrs. Theresa Kuffuor, the Chief Matron then, Prof Nyame said a combination of shared values culminated in the significant breakthroughs the clinic recorded. 

He stated that his personal principle “Only the best is good for Africa” guided his work, especially during the initial stages of the clinic's establishment.  

Medical Director at Cocoa Clinic, Dr. Jerry Owusu-Ansah thanked COCOBOD and Professor Nyame whose visionary leadership laid the foundation for a medical centre that has not only provided healthcare for COCOBOD staff but also served the community and the nation. He mentioned that Cocoa Clinic is now in 5 regions and is still serving employees, farmers, and the general public.  

“We have expanded and now offer more than just primary medical services. We now provide affordable services to different clients”. This has been made possible because of the service pricing mechanism that the clinic has put in place. 

For his part, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, emphasized the important role of the Clinic in the provision of healthcare services to the public, especially farmers in the cocoa-growing regions and promised the Board's commitment to equip cocoa clinics with the needed resources to operate efficiently.  

 “Through our numerous interactions with farmers, one request that always comes our way is the need to establish more clinics in cocoa communities across the country in order to bring healthcare delivery closer to them. In addition, farmers have been advocating the establishment of a cocoa health insurance scheme with a percentage of the FOB prices of cocoa. All these are key on the drawing board”, he said.  

Emphasising the future of the clinic, Hon. Boahen Aidoo revealed that there were ongoing works to set up a new Cocoa Medical Centre, “a state-of-the-art medical facility that will provide quaternary level healthcare services for Ghanaian clients as well as clients from the sub-region and beyond.” 

The Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Hon. Peter Mac Manu, commended Cocoa Clinic for building a brand that is still relevant half a century later. He reiterated the importance of taking good care of the health of the workforce and the need to work towards making the clinic a world-class health centre. He proposed a digitalisation of Cocoa Clinic as part of efforts towards building and sustaining the brand. 

Meanwhile, according to Dr Edward Amporful, Chairman of the Anniversary Planning Committee, activities to mark the celebration have already begun with clean-up exercises and fun games which were held in Accra and other areas where the clinic’s branches are located. Dr. Edward Amporful disclosed further that there were more activities to be rolled out in September with a thanksgiving service in October to climax the celebrations.   

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