Finding James

In 1948 Accra was a comparatively small administrative city of the colonial power; its population was about 40,000 and the city was rife with politics of self-rule and rumblings of the overthrow of colonialism and imperial power, which would happen in a short 9 years. But the general population lived in rural areas, 75 percent of them were not directly linked to the services of government in larger communities. Sub-district and community health clinics were scant or non-existent.

Shaw, the pharmacist, veteran, nurse and his wife, Victoria, also a nurse took assignments in remote areas where they manned health posts that were distant from the regional centers of service.  In the absence of medical doctors, the couple provided primary and ambulatory care to the rural needy. The clinician couple also covered the routine public health awareness campaigns for nutrition and preventive services such as vaccinations, sanitation and personal hygiene for their communities.

Their tour of duty included Abomosu, a community nestled in the cocoa farmlands of the eastern region in Ghana, which is still hard to reach even in the 21st century. In the west of the Volta region in Ghana is a town called Kete Krachi, which is not far from Lake Volta; it was here Shaw and Victoria manned another health post. 

Shaw and Victoria also manned a health post in Mampong, part of the Ashanti region in central Ghana. And, after 16 years, they settled into the urban life in Accra with the creature comforts they had forsaken as civil servants.

As a veteran, Shaw showed steely determination to serve a cause he believed. And, together with his dear wife, Vic, Shaw served humanity. They were unflagging in their duty to provide health care to the vulnerable and needy among their communities.