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With Holy Trinity SPA & Health Farm, Ghana targets Africa’s medical tourism market

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A view of the Holy Trinity Spa & Farm in Ghana

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), together with the European Travel Commission (ETC), recently launched a new report on health tourism. The study is the first attempt to set a coherent conceptualisation of health tourism and define the motivations behind travellers looking for health-related services.

An emerging, global, complex and rapidly changing segment that needs to be better understood by destinations willing to leverage opportunities and better address challenges, health, wellness and medical tourism have grown exponentially in recent years to become increasingly relevant in many destinations.

The report, Exploring Health Tourism, proposes a comprehensive taxonomy with a consistent terminology to define and describe the intricate system of travelling for health purposes and provides a practical toolkit for National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) wanting to develop health tourism.

As defined in the report, health tourism covers those types of tourism, which have as a primary motivation the contribution to physical, mental and/or spiritual health through medical and wellness-based activities.

It sheds light on the factors shaping health tourism such as technological developments, personal health, data protection and urbanisation. It also explores the market, the demand and the supply of health tourism and provides examples of marketing management.

An increasing number of countries or individual hospitals and clinics have actively marketed themselves as medical travel destinations, hoping to attract patients from neighbouring countries and further afield, through the promise of high quality, technologically advanced and competitively priced health services.

In fact, travelling abroad for healthcare is nothing new. Since early times, people have travelled far and wide in search of cures and healing. The 19th century was the heyday of spa towns and health resorts throughout Europe. And in more recent times, wealthy patients from around the globe have traditionally sought the latest technology and highest quality service in exclusive private clinics, travelling wherever they felt necessary.

While Nigeria could lay claim to being a leader in religious tourism, at least in Africa, Ghana, through the Holy Trinity Spa & Health Farm, Sogakope, is gradually edging closer to becoming the leader in health tourism in the continent. Unlike the days when Europe, America, Asia and Middle East, were the only options when it comes to medical tourism, a recent visit to the Spa shows that the Holy Trinity is already providing a credible alternative for Africans, who seek medical attention.

The concept of the spa and health farm began when the founder Dr. Feix Anyah, from 1999 to 2002, travelled to some African and European countries to reflect on the health and medical system he wanted to call Holy Trinity Health Sanctuary- a place of wholistic health, serene, tranquil mountain, a place for retreat, spiritual, mental, emotional, social and psychological health.

But in 2002, Dr Anyah’s first son discovered in the Home Encyclopedia that what he was envisaging is called ‘Health Farm’. Therefore, the name was then changed from Holy Trinity Health Sanctuary to Holy Trinity Health Farm. On March 19, 2005, the Holy Trinity Spa & Health Farm was formally commissioned as a branch of the Holy Trinity Medical Centre at North Kaneshie in Accra, which was established in 1988. The medical centre is a home to residents as well as staff of corporate organisations.

The spa facility is situated in a quiet, beautiful natural surrounding spreading along Ghana’s biggest river – the Volta River. It is impressively designed and decorated in calm vegetation green colours that represent life.

The relaxing environment is a complete change from every day stress and strains of life, while the natural ambiance, cool breeze from the Volta River, chirping of several species of birds, enables visitors to switch off into a relaxed mode. At the facility, expect to be lifted spiritually, as the environment helps you enhance the feel – good factor and enable you to reflect on life with celestial bliss and clarity.

With a highly motivated staff comprising of doctors, dentists, dieticians, exercise physiologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, optometrists, herbal practitioners, massage and spa therapists, hospitality service providers, the facility provides wellness with fun and recreation.

Holy Trinity SPA and Health Farm is a perfect destination for corporate conferences and retreats, honeymoons and wedding receptions, health vacations, stress analysis and management, anxiety and mood disorders management, addiction management convalescence, elderly rejuvenation, dental Spa, executive medical examination, stand alone services, chronic fatigue management, fitness training and corporate recreational retreat.

While the spa offers massages, sauna, jacuzzi, colon cleansing, salon services and facials, the medical department offers health services including dental treatment, optical, sex disorders, laboratory, stress analysis, sleep disorder Therapy and weight Management. At the sport centre are table tennis boards, volley court, lawn tennis court, football pitch, cycling, aerobics, swimming pool and gym. Other services include boat cruise, camel riding, horse riding, kinect and video games.

With accommodation for different needs, the facility also has a restaurant, bar and free Wifi for visitors. Across the Volta River is a massive farm (both crop and animal farm), where all foodstuffs come from. Then there’s the Tent of Judah Resort, an extension of the facility, which boasts of a rich Nigerian restaurant.

With one’s health and food safety in mind, meals at the facility are prepared from fresh foodstuff at all times. The 150-capacity restaurant with excellent decor creates a dining experience suited for everyone, who visits the spa. With glass windows, one can have a nice view of the Volta River whilst enjoying their sumptuous meals in the restaurant.

According to General Manager of the facility, Diana Mamle Bansah, lifestyles have become the major causes of ill health such as stress disorders, chronic fatigue, blood clots and its effect sudden devastating effects.

“Our mission is to provide the best and confortable living experience for people of all ages, from young to old. We believe in good health and preservation of life,” she said.

On the patronage so far, Bansah explained, “Now that the volume of the rooms have been expanded, things are different. Before now, when the rooms were less than 50, once a few people come in, the place is full. Today, we have up to 80 rooms, which allows for more people to access the facility at the same time. However, our business is seasonal; end of the year and beginning of the year, we usually have full house.”

The manager noted that the organisation is currently looking at attracting patronage from other parts of Africa, especially from Nigeria.

“I think our director has something with Nigeria because, on our fourth floor, all the rooms were named Nigerian cities and towns; we have Ikeja, Enugu, Calabar, Lagos, Abuja etc. When you go there now, you will see all of them. We used to have a lot of market from Nigeria. But if you ask me now, I will say patronage it’s 50 per cent Ghanaians and 50 per cent tourist from other countries,” she said.

Recalling the early days of the facility, she said, “When I came here, there were only 17 rooms; all these big structure you are seeing were not there at the time. Because the facility was new in Ghana then, it was difficult letting people actually know what we are really about. It was like a new products, so, many people didn’t understand what we are doing. Today, things have changed. Thanks to our Director, who kept pushing the vision.”

Bansah joined holy Trinity Spa & Farm as a trained beauty therapist and rose to managerial level, having undergone series of trainings abroad.

“I was sent abroad by the company to go and study spa management. I was in South Africa, Thailand, Kenya, Egypt and the UK. I’m somebody, who does everything with passion. Some years back, I was producing all the products we were using in the spa; nobody told me to do so. I just used my brains to produce them uniquely for the spa; we didn’t sell it to the public. In fact, people came all the way from Nigeria to look for these products, but they were nowhere to be found in Ghana. I grow everyday with the passion into spa management business; it’s like growing into something you love; everything is fine,” she said.


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