Dr. Brookman-Amissah assumed leadership of Ipas’s Africa program in June 2001. Ipas is an international not -for- profit organization working globally to improve women’s health through a focus on reproductive health. Prior to joining Ipas full-time as Vice-President of Africa, she had served as her country Ghana’s Ambassador to The Kingdom of the Netherlands. Before that she had been Minister of Health in Ghana from 1996 to 1998.
These appointments came after a long career in clinical medicine spanning both the public and private sectors in the United Kingdom and in Ghana. Throughout her career, she has been committed to women’s reproductive health issues and the championing of women’s rights to equity in health care. This has meant tackling issues contentious in the social climate in her country and in the region such as unsafe abortion as an issue of Safe Motherhood. She pioneered in West Africa what has come to be known as Community Gynecology. She also has been a temporary consultant to the WHO on several occasions.
During her tenure as Minister, the Ghana Health Service Bill was enacted by Parliament and Health Sector Reforms were institutionalized. She also championed the Sector Wide Approach to Health Care, SWAPS, and worked to get the donor community fully committed to funding such a program in Ghana. She launched Ghana’s first Five year Sector Wide Program in April 1998. She has been a resource on Health Sector Reforms for various international meetings including The World Medical Association in 1996, The Commonwealth Health Minister’s Meeting in New Zealand in 2001 and the World Federation of Medical Education Conference in Copenhagen in March 2003.
Dr. Brookman-Amissah has gone to some lengths to get both the private and public sectors working together for an equitable provision of health care in Ghana and in the wider Africa region.
Dr. Brookman-Amissah was elected Fellow of the West African College of Physicians in 1989 and in 1998 was awarded the Fellowship ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, United Kingdom, in recognition of her enormous contribution to that specialty.
She was the first woman Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association from 1992-1995 and has been the Commonwealth Medical Association’s representative to the Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, CHRI, since 2002. She is also a member of the Committee on Women and Development (CWD) of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). In 2004 she was accorded representational status at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. She has recently been invited to be a foundation member of the Africa Regional Reproductive Health Research and Training Network, based in Johannesburg.
Dr. Brookman-Amissah now lives in Nairobi, Kenya where she heads Ipas’ Africa Alliance for Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights.