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, 358 (9299), 2141-9

Ghana: Defining the African Challenge

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Ghana: Defining the African Challenge

R Horton. Lancet.

Abstract

In 1957, Ghana became the first African nation to achieve independence from its colonial ruler. But since then Ghana has suffered mixed political and economic fortunes. The health of Ghana's people and the country's progress in modernising its health-care system have fluctuated according to peaks and troughs in West African history. Some critics see Ghana's course since independence as a promise unfulfilled. Others view Ghana as a model for North-South cooperation, which could be rolled out across the whole of Africa. In November, 2001, I visited hospitals and health centres in both rural and urban settings to investigate the present state of Ghanaian medicine. The picture I saw was one of a country clear about what it wants to do but divided about how it should achieve its goals. If Ghana is to be a model for Africa, it is more a model of problems to be faced than solutions discovered.

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