FOCOS recognizes that developing nations provide valuable information on the epidemiology, natural history, and treatment outcomes of spine disorders and other musculoskeletal conditions. Each mission trip, FOCOS brings a U.S. based research team to assist and work alongside the Ghana research team.

FOCOS research and education programs include:

  • Clinical data collection via secure web-based data entry
  • Ongoing scoliosis screenings at schools
  • Conferences and workshops for local health care professionals
  • Patient outreach and prevention forums and events

Education efforts expand beyond the borders of Africa. Several FOCOS doctors and nurses have traveled to New York to study at the Hospital for Special Surgery. During these fellowships, the international visitors observe and learn about the latest developments in medicine.  New knowledge is brought back to FOCOS partners to be practiced and implemented. Read "My Trip to the USA" by FOCOS nurse, Roman Demissie to learn about her fellowship experience.

Educational efforts also involve health professionals from the USA traveling to Ghana. Each year the Andrew N. Swanson, MD Alumni Traveling Fellowship is awarded to a resident from the Hospital for Special Surgery who is interested in the area of spine surgery, and has demonstrated commitment to providing compassionate medical care. The traveling fellowship consists of a two week scholarship with the FOCOS clinic in Ghana. The research carried out over the years has been accepted for podium and poster presentations at conferences such as the IMAST and NASS research conferences.