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Meet Dr Quartey-Papafio, Ghana’s very first doctor and physician

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Ghana’s first doctor and physician, Dr Quartey-Papafio, was discovered when the West African country was referred to as Gold Coast.

He was born in June 1859 to Momo Omedru, a businesswoman, and Chief Quartey-Papafio.

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Emmanuel and Arthur Quartey-Papafio, brothers of Benjamin Quartey-Papafio, were traders and farmers. Hugh and Clement W. Quartey-Papafio, who were Emmanuel William Kwate Quartey-offspring, Papafio’s also went on to become lawyers.

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, Quartey-Papfio attended CMS Grammar School and Fourah Bay College for his education.

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He later travelled to Britain and enrolled at the St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in 1882 to study medicine before relocating to Edinburgh University.

He graduated with a degree M.B and M.Ch. in 1886 and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

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He was the first African to receive a medical degree in the Gold Coast.

He returned to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and served as a medical practitioner for the Gold Coast Government Service from 1888 till 1905.

Quartey-Papfio married Eliza Sabina Meyer and had six children with her.

A member of the Accra Town Council from 1909 to 1912, Quartey-Papafio was also a member of the 1911 deputation to London that protested the Forest Bill.

He was an unofficial member of the Legislative Council from 1919 to 1924 and a practicing Anglican.

Benjamin Quartey-Papafio died on September 14, 1924.


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