DR OKU AMPOFO Ghanaian, 1908-1998
Dr. Kwaku Oku Ampofo (1908-1998), is a world acclaimed sculptor and renowned allopathic medical practitioner from Ghana. There is no doubt Dr. Oku Ampofo excelled in both the arts and medical practice so much that it is difficult to place him in one field of his life and leave the other. Another truth about Dr. Oku Ampofo, is that he was Ghana’s foremost Pan-Africanist cultural advocate who was a member of the Council put together to ensure the creation of the Institute of African Studies faculty at the University of Ghana.
Dr. Oku Ampofo could be described as a man of many parts with his sterling career spanning medicine, sculpture, and pioneering the field of herbal medicine.
Dr. Oku Ampofo studied medicine at Edinburgh University and the Royal College of Edinburgh and Glasgow between 1933-1939. In 1939 he obtained the Doctorate Diploma. He is considered a pioneer in the use of herbal medicine, and Founder of the Center for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine in Ghana, Akuapem-Mampong.
He started to make sculptures as a hobby during his medical studies in Edinburgh. His works, executed in multi-colored hard woods, cement and terrazzo, display not only unusual artistic beauty, but true understanding or the medium used, depicting cultural and socio-religious aspects of the Ghanaian way of life.
Subsequently, Dr. Oku Ampofo upon arriving in 1939, found it very difficult to find work as a medical doctor under the British Colonial Government. He therefore found it necessary to start-up his own clinic. The scarcity of doctors then was the prevailing condition, as he was the first Ghanaian doctor to have received a scholarship to study medicine in the Gold coast. He quickly found out that he was being overwhelmed by too many patients, as there were only two doctors on the Akwapim Ridge. He subsequently advised that a regional hospital should be built on the Ridge. This request, became what is the TETTEH QUARSHIE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL located at Mampong-Akwapim. He was appointed the first Chief Medical Officer of the hospital.
Dr. Oku Ampofo’s has the desire to use traditional plant medicine to treat his patients from his scientific research at his home, this culminated in the establishment of the Centre for Plant Medicine Research. (CSRPM).
Dr. Oku Ampofo was recognized when he advised the Government of Ghana in 1973 establish the CPMR, which today is fully the Government of Ghana’s pioneer Centre for production and manufacturing of Plant Medicine.
He is considered a pioneer in the Scientific Research of Herbal Medicine, and founder of the Center for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine in Ghana Akuapem-Mampong.