Sydney Abugri Writing and Editing Services

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Best Regional Correspondent (Print)       	                 1987        
Outstanding Development Journalist 		                 1991              
Best Feature Writer (Print)			                 1993        
Best Newspaper Columnist			                 1994              
Best Feature Writer (Print)			                 1997       
Journalist of the Year				                 1997             
Best Feature Writer (Print)			                 1999  


Some of the work that won these awards have included

(a) Ghana’s Traditional “bone healers”.

Researched stories on the “bone-setters”. of Duong in Ghana’s Upper West Region: These are traditional medical practitioners whose specialty is healing limbs broken in accidents. The techniques and formula for the herbal preparations they employ, are closely guarded secrets passed on to the herbalists by previous generations of “bone-setters”

Though their clinic is located several hundred kilometers away from Ghana’s major cities in the south of the country, patients from the southern coast have sought traditional therapy at the clinic. The application of special herbal preparations to broken limbs which are then bound in splint, has often ensured healing in months. Scores of wooden crutches usually left behind at the clinic by completely healed patients are testimony to the efficacy of the treatment. In my work on the bone-setters I drew the attention of health delivery policy-makers and workers to the following:

(1) The bone-setters are mostly illiterate and do not apply the best of internationally accepted standards of medical practice. Patients face the risk of tetanus infection from the methods used. No analgesics are given patients during “resetting” clinic lacks X-ray equipment and assessment of the magnitude and nature of injury is made by the bone-setters’ traditional examination techniques which could be flawed.

{2}The absence of analgesics is especially worrying in cases where bones heal alright but limbs are left crooked or slightly grotesque. In such cases, the incredible method of breaking the bone again and resetting it is employed!

(b) Hippopotamus Conservation

Some of my award winning work has also included researched stories on a small extinction-bound population of hippopotamuses in Ghana’s Upper West Region. This is a large, gregarious tropical animal which lives in and around rivers. Fishermen on the Black Volta, a river which runs through the country from its northern borders into the Atlantic in the south, frequently complained that the animals had the prankish inclination to overturn their canoes while they were fishing on the river. They also destroyed “trap” nets the fishermen left in the river.

The fishermen came up with the idea of digging large and deep pits and covering the pits with tree leaves, branches and shrubs. The huge animals when they came on land would fall into the pits, and the fishermen using guns, bows and arrows wou7ld kill the beasts.

My articles on the subject eventually drew the attention of the Department of Game and Wildlife. The Department now has a sanctuary for what is left of the population of hippos. The sanctuary which has been demarcated is strictly off limits to game hunters and is gradually becoming a tourist attraction.

(c) Medical delivery crisis

Other award winning work has included features stories on a crisis at Ghana’s largest hospital – the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where equipment and facilities were so ran down or so woefully inadequate, that people fatally injured in road and industrial accidents lay bleeding and unattended to on wooden benches in corridors. At the maternity block of Ghana’s largest medical referral facility, infants only hours old, lay on the virtually bare floor. Lucky infants in the maternity block shared cots!


Others have included:
1) Guinea worm infestation of farming communities without access to safe drinking water
2) The problem of deforestation
3) Mining and the environment
4) Harmful traditional and cultural practices with focus on female genital mutilation.
5) Issues of Human Rights
6) Child Labour
7) Childhood diseases in the Upper West Region of Ghana
8) Politics
9) Agriculture, etc