Ghana’s first doctor and physician, Dr Quartey-Papafio, was discovered when the West African country was referred to as Gold Coast.
He was born in June 1859 to Momo Omedru, a businesswoman, and Chief Quartey-Papafio.
Emmanuel and Arthur Quartey-Papafio, brothers of Benjamin Quartey-Papafio, were traders and farmers. Hugh and Clement W. Quartey-Papafio, who were Emmanuel William Kwate Quartey-offspring, Papafio’s also went on to become lawyers.
In Freetown, Sierra Leone, Quartey-Papfio attended CMS Grammar School and Fourah Bay College for his education.
He later travelled to Britain and enrolled at the St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in 1882 to study medicine before relocating to Edinburgh University.
He graduated with a degree M.B and M.Ch. in 1886 and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.
He was the first African to receive a medical degree in the Gold Coast.
He returned to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and served as a medical practitioner for the Gold Coast Government Service from 1888 till 1905.
Quartey-Papfio married Eliza Sabina Meyer and had six children with her.
A member of the Accra Town Council from 1909 to 1912, Quartey-Papafio was also a member of the 1911 deputation to London that protested the Forest Bill.
He was an unofficial member of the Legislative Council from 1919 to 1924 and a practicing Anglican.
Benjamin Quartey-Papafio died on September 14, 1924.