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08.07.2002 General News

MP Criticises Posthumous Awards

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The NPP Member of Parliament for Ga North, Mr S.O. Darkoh, has stressed the need for the country to give due recognition to the heroic achievement of Ghanaians who dedicated a good part of their productive years working tirelessly for the rapid socio-economic development of the country.

He mentioned, in particular, the “singular, exemplary and outstanding performance” of Prof Frimpong Boateng, Director of the National Cardio-Thoracic Centre at Korle-Bu, whose singular vision, he said, inspired the setting up of the centre and has continued to work at the centre to attain its present acclaimed international status.

Making a statement on the floor of the House on Saturday, Mr Darkoh said Prof Boateng deserves commendation and a singular honour for marketing the country abroad through excellent medical service delivery and for setting the Ghana Heart Foundation in 1989 to mobilise resources from public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to support patients to undergo surgery at a reasonable cost.

“I recommend that the eminent professor, during his lifetime, be honoured by the state,” he stressed, and suggested that a monument or a bust should be erected in his honour or the Cardio-Thoracic Centre, which he helped to set up, be named after him.

He added that the efforts of the numerous lecturers at the various universities, dedicated nurses at the hospitals and other citizens who have resisted the urge for improved working conditions elsewhere and have continued to offer dedicated service to the country should also be recognised.

He said presently, Prof Boateng lectures at the Department of Surgery at the University of Ghana Medical School, alongside his heavy schedule at the Cardio-Thoracic Centre where he and his competent team have worked to bring relief and comfort to several otherwise anguished families, both at home and abroad.

He said apart from the centre earning hard currency for the economy, Prof Boateng is imparting knowledge to foreign nationals who come into the country to train and many other Ghanaians who would have paid millions of cedis acquiring similar knowledge abroad.

He also recalled the achievements of the country's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and said despite these, “we waited for nearly two decades before constructing a mausoleum in his honour while roads and other monuments are named after foreigners”.

He pointed out that “our inertia has sunk names like Obetsebi-Lamptey, Nii Kankam Badu, Ako Adjei, Sir Arku Korsah, Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, Paa Willie, Ephram Amu Baba Yara, Prof Albert Adu-Boahen and others into oblivion”. He said the passage of the National Honours and Investiture Bill by Parliament this year should offer opportunity for such heroes to be honoured, adding, “We must do something for our heroes before they die,”.

Contributing to discussions on the statement, the Deputy Minister of Health and PNC Member for Sissala, Mr Moses Dani Baah, supported the call and stressed that “our nationals deserve to be honoured while they are alive”.

Dr Kwame Ampofo (NDC, South Dayi) described the call “as timely” and said the process of honouring the nation's citizens for dedication should be institutionalised while a commission should be set up to identify those who need to be honoured.

Mr Abuga Pele (NDC, Chiannpaga) said Africa's soccer maestro, Abedi Ayew Pele, should also be honoured for his national and international achievement for the nation in the field of soccer.

In another statement, the NPP Member for Okere, Mr B.D.K Adu expressed concern at the rate at which doctors and other professionals are leaving the country in search of greener pastures outside and suggestted that measures should be instituted to ensure that the country benefits from the brain drain or even reverse the trend in the long-run.

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