Ghana’s only general surgeon with PhD in palliative care crowned best candidate in West Africa

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Ghana’s first and only general surgeon with PhD in palliative care crowned best candidate in General Surgery in West Africa

Eseenam Agbeko’s journey towards becoming a respected surgeon was one marked by

determination and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Her love for competition started at a young age, where she established herself as the best student in her class at KNUST Primary and JHS.

She went on to attend Wesley Girls High School, where she represented her school in the NSMQ 2000 competition, making it to the semi-finals. She completed the school as the assistant head girls’ prefect, an achievement gotten by a select few. Her love for beauty pageants was also evident, as she won the coveted Miss SHS crown in the same year.

After graduating in the top 1% of the SSCE, she pursued her dream of becoming a medical doctor and enrolled in the Kwame Nkrumah Medical School. Her hard work and astute mind paid off, as she became the top of her class and swept most of the awards. During her vacation, she even taught herself how to bake, and her cakes were so good that they became a Christmas Day must-have.

After her house job, she found herself torn between her love for palliative care and the many surgical fields vying for her attention. In the end, she settled on general surgery, which was closer to her interests, but she never forgot her passion for palliative care. She pursued a PhD in Palliative Care Medicine from Lancaster University while working as a teaching assistant and in the surgery department.

Her determination and hard work earned her a spot in the International Surgical Training Programme of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, where she trained as a vascular surgeon for two years before returning to her homeland. She is currently a General and Vascular Surgeon and Palliative Care Practitioner at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.

As the first and only female General Surgeon who also holds a PhD in palliative care medicine in her hospital, She has had a unique career development path, and is a pacesetter for other young doctors. Her professional activities include providing patient care, teaching medical and nursing students, and residents.

Her research interests are in surgical oncology and vascular surgery, particularly breast cancer and diabetic foot problems. She is very passionate about providing patient-centered care aimed at ensuring quality of life and meeting patients’ goals, characterized by open and continual communication.
Eseenam’s hard work and determination earned her a fellowship in Vascular Surgery from the International Surgical Training Programme of the Royal College of Surgeons England, having trained in St Mary’s Hospital, London, and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Dorset County in the UK.

She also holds a Fellowship from the Ghana Institute of Surgeons and was recently named a fellow of the West Africa Institute of Surgeons, where she even won the prestigious overall best candidate in General Surgery award.

Graduation Attire PhD/Doctoral Tudor BonnetEseenam’s story is not just one of academic and professional excellence, but also one of pursuing multiple passions and excelling in multiple fields. Her desire to impact her community, country and world at large in terms of surgical and palliative care through excellent service, teaching and research is unwavering. She is interested in partnerships that foster developing equity in surgical care across the world, especially in low-resourced settings.

Her achievements and dedication serve as an inspiration to young women in Ghana and beyond, showing that it’s possible to pursue your dreams, no matter how many there may be.


  1. An-Yoko LasseyRaoult

    I am so proud of Essenam’s achievements, wow!!
    I hope she’s able to demystify palliative care in our beloved country Ghana.

    I am retired clinical nurse specialist in palliative care and was hoping to help in the Volta Regional hospital, but alas my CV must have been thrown in the bin, nothing has come of it. There is so much to be done in demystifying the specialty and bringing this passion to the Volta Region

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