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26.02.2007 General News

Korle bu CEO's book re-launch works up the intended political PR

By DAILYEXPRESS-Nii Kwaku Osabutey Anny

Last week's re-launch of a book written and already launched by the Chief Executive of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has more than achieved the objectives set by his handlers and campaign strategists.

Not only has it been good PR, but great political publicity and branding. With his interviews blaring on all networks, write-ups in the newspapers and a focus on the seemingly neutral and political heavyweights at the function, the aspiring ruling NPP presidential candidate knew exactly what he wanted from the re-launch.

Professor Frimpong Boateng insisted during interactions with journalists after the re-launch of the book 'Deep down my heart' that the exercise was not a PR/ Publicity stunt as part of his campaign to be president of Ghana.

He maintained that the aim was to raise funds to support the Ghana Heart Foundation. But beyond this objective, the Korle bu CEO got a lot of other pluses with the re-launch.

Personal endorsements of his candidature by influential business people, the presence of heavyweights like P. V. Obeng and Dr. Mary Grant, which he skillfully skewed to his political advantage, were a major campaign booster.

'Deep Down My Heart' is a history of Cardiothoracic surgery in Ghana and chronicles events leading to the establishment of the Cardiothoracic centre, the bureaucratic difficulties he endured from some health officials and professional colleagues at Korle Bu at the time.

Speaking about his presidential bid, the heart surgeon said he took the decision because he felt very strongly it was time to do something new and “I think my expertise will be more felt when I become president.”

He boasted that he has trained not only Ghanaian heart surgeons but others from neighbouring countries who are very well placed to take over from where he has left off.

“I've been asked on numerous occasions why I'm jumping into the political train instead of keeping the heart of Ghanaians alive, but I can tell you the current crop of colleagues are better placed to continue from where I'm stepping out.”

Professor Frimpong boasted that former president, Jerry Rawlings, Dr. Mary Grant- a member of the opposition NDC Council of Elders, Nana Akuoko Sarpong- a member of the NDC administration under Rawlings, P. V. Obeng- also member of the NDC administration among others will all vote for him because they know he'll be the best president for Ghana.

The Korle bu CEO said he will use his influence as president to establish more cardiothoracic centres across the country so that many more persons with heart related ailments will be successfully treated.

Touching on his campaign efforts so far, the surgeon told journalists “I'm firmly on the ground and those who think otherwise should watch and see because they are not on the ground. I'm dead serious of winning.”

Talking about the book earlier, Professor Frimpong Boateng said there are more patients with heart problems but who cannot afford the cost, and encouraged the public to financially support the Ghana Heart Foundation.

He added that the lives of most Ghanaians with heart related problems have had successful operations at a cheaper cost since the establishment of the centre over ten years ago.

Professor Frimpong Boateng was full of praise for Messrs. P. V. Obeng, Nana Akuaku Sarpong, Dr. (Mrs.) Mary Grant, Jerry Rawlings and others who believed in his vision of setting up the centre when he tabled the idea before them, following initial difficulties.

Mr. Obeng who launched the book praised the heart surgeon for his selflessness and devotion to the service of humanity. He noted that the Professor sacrificed personal comfort and rather sought the welfare of his countrymen and women. He therefore appealed to Ghanaians abroad with the competent skills to make them available to the service of the country.