BY ALL accounts, Dr. Eric Ntiamoah Mensah is a formally-trained, professionally-qualified, duly registered and licensed to practice orthodox medicine in Ghana.
There are those who will testify that they were his medical student mates at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.
One of my blood relations, Akua ( not her real name ) talks of how Dr. Ntiamoah's medical intervention saved the life of her friend Amma (also not her real name) in Accra.
Amma had checked into a hospital to have her baby. There were complications which the doctors at that hospital (name withheld) had not detected in time. It was a case of serious internal bleeding. When the doctors got to know what the problem was, they quickly took her to another hospital (name withheld).
Somehow, Dr. Ntiamoah was told of the problem. He rushed through a phone call to the hospital where Amma had been taken to. Amma was immediately rushed to the theatre where an emergency operation was carried on her. Amma is alive today to tell her story.
Dear reader, I have taken the time and the trouble to establish the fact that the man who is the subject of this article is recognized by the Medical and Dental Council of Ghana as a medical practitioner. The reason for doing so will become apparent soon.
I came to know about Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah sometime ago when I read in the newspapers about a body called Christian Professionals Fellowship, CPF for short.
At first, I thought it was a body made up of, for example, doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers, accountants, etc. who had come together to pursue a common interest, both religious and professional.
However, I changed my mind as the advertisements in the newspapers, mostly The Mirror, consistently had a medical bent, with particular reference to diseases of the reproductive system of women.
In The Mirror of Saturday, May 10, 2008 was a full-page advert with such questions for women as: Do you have vaginal discharge or odour? Do you have vulva itching or irritation? Do you have dysuria (pain during urination) urgency or frequency to urinate? Have you noticed any genital lesions (e.g. ulcer)? Have you had any recent abdominal pain or rectal symptoms?
More of the questions: Have you noticed any skin rash involving areas other than the genitals? Have you had any new sexual partner in the last two months? Have you had more than one sexual partner in the last year? Does your sexual partner have signs of infections? Do you have sex with men, women or both? Do you ordinarily participate in oral sex, rectal sex or vaginal sex?
Thrown in for good measure for men are the following questions: Do you have a urethral discharge? Do you have any burning when you pass urine? Have you noticed any skin rash in nongenital parts of the body? Have you had any rectal symptoms, diarrhea or constipation?
More: Have you had a new sexual partner in the last 2 months? Have you had more than one sexual partner in the last year? Does any sexual partner have signs of infections? Do you have sex with men, women or both? Do you ordinarily participate in oral sex, rectal sex or vaginal sex?
The advert goes on to say that if you, the reader, answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then you should call or visit his medical lab, known as the “Women's Lab”, “where you will receive support in combating sexually transmitted infections and its numerous complications.”
I do not know why Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah calls his lab the Women's Lab when men can also visit the place to have their problems attended to. But let that pass. That Lab is regularly advertised on television.
If you tune in to Ghana Television (GTV) from 5.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Sundays, you will hear Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah talk medicine, once again mostly about diseases of the reproductive system. He occasionally throws in marriage counseling to add spice to his talk.
However, if you go to the same GTV from about 9.00 p.m. on Thursdays, you will come across a totally different Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah. Instead of hearing him talk orthodox medicine, you will hear a faith healer giving you a firm promise to pray, touch and wish away all your medical as well as social and economic problems.
Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah has announced that, come the night of May 30, 2008, he will heal your cancer and your job loss with a special licence not given by a human being but from Heaven itself.
On the night of Thursday, May 15, 2008, on GTV, he got someone with him to read Luke chapter 4, Verses 17-19. The verses state, “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet E-sai'as. And when he had opened the Book, he found a Place where it was written, (Verse 17),” “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, “(Verse 18), and “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Verse19).
Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah left the viewer in no doubt at all that he was the prophet with a divine licence, not a human one, to bring medical social and financial salvation to the afflicted.
I do not mind if Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah doubles as a preacher of Christian gospel, even though I am not a Christian. After all, there are other professionals who are also lay preachers and counsellors in their various churches.
I will not be surprised if Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah's scientific background and medical training have convinced him of the existence and power of God. For example, Dr. Frimpong Boateng, our foremost and most famous heart surgeon, speak reverentially about what seems to be a divine motor or engine that keeps the heart beating. Far from many men of science becoming atheists, they have rather had their faith deepened by their study of nature.
My worry regarding Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah is his apparent mixing of orthodox, medical practice with faith healing. Let me hurriedly state here for the avoidance of doubt, that, over the centuries, doctors have been baffled by what looked like a miraculous cure after they had given up on a patient.
If you go to any hospital run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, the inscription that greets you is “Allah Alone is the Healer.” But the doctor there, though a devout Muslim, will never tell you that his prayer to God alone will heal you.
On the contrary, he will go through the normal, orthodox medicinal procedures to arrive at what doctors call “an optimistic diagnosis”' to be followed by a prescription, if need be.
My question is, if ever I should go to Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah's clinic or hospital as a patient, what method will he adopt? Will it be faith healing or orthodox medical practice?
There are so many charlatans among so-called faith healers that I pray that I will never be reduced to the extremity of going to one. I am afraid I prefer the services of Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah as a qualified medical doctor. One person cannot serve two masters, says the Holy Bible. Dr. Ntiamoah Mensah should choose one.