Memories of My Bad Ass Grandma and The US Reproductive Rights Debate

Emotional scenes in movies have often driven me to tears. This is not easy for me to admit. I still remember 12 year old me hiding behind a door and crying at my dads funeral. My mums death hit me like a ton of bricks because it came sooner than I expected. I surprised myself on that, as a physician I should have known but did not see it coming though the signs were there. I guess like all humans I have a great skill at failing to see and appreciate things that hurt. As I write these words Read More…

Women’s Reproductive Rights in the US and Latin America

In 2021 the Mexican Supreme Court decriminalized abortions. Now many in the US have started talking about abortions in Mexico for some Americans should Roe v. Wade be overturned. In Chile abortion access has been debated for more than a decade. The ban was lifted briefly in 2017 only to be reversed in less than a year. At this time though Chile’s new constitution may be the first to clearly codify female reproductive rights. In Brazil abortions are legal only in cases of rape and incest. TheRead More…

Structural Racism in the US and Globally: Is there an upstream solution?

Structural Racism in the US and Globally: Is There an Upstream Solution?

Racism in the US is as old as the nation. In looking for solutions one approach almost always stands out. We need to address the entrenched racialized narrative we have internalized and keep telling ourselves. I will admit though that I am still struggling with how to make this fact easy to digest for everyone. When I point to the stories we tell as the root of racism, many ask what this really means. In my opinion though everything is about stories. I know the evidence seeking data requiring IRead More…

Dreams That Never Came To Fruition

I was securing the arterial line I had just placed in her left radial artery when I heard her singing quietly under her breathe. It piqued my interest, so I listened closer. She was singing along with the song playing on the station we had playing in the operating room. I looked at her emaciated face half-covered by a mask and stated, “You must love that song.” “I love those old songs. They remind me of growing up”, she replied. The answer made me conscious of my age. I waRead More…

The Struggle For A New America III

About 4-years ago spurred on by all the social unrests in America on issues of race and identity, I wrote my first post with the above title. This will be the third essay in that series. My first post was related to the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) and what it means to African Americans. In a way it was really a question about representation. It was based on a discussion with a lady that I shared a seat with on a flight from Seattle, WA. She inquired on what an ally to blacks was supposedRead More…

Gay Conversion Therapy: How Does This Really Work?

Have You Ever Been Different From Everyones Else? Human beings come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Like all creatures there are differences between us. Our societies have not always gloried in our differences. Sometimes we have used differences as a reason for persecution and oppression. Growing up in Ghana with ginger colored hair taught me what it is like to be different. In my community everyone had dark black hair. My fiery brown hair will get even lighter the more time I spent in theRead More…

The Gurney Keeps Rolling

They are rolled down the hallway in a special gurney to the first stop on their journey to eternal rest. They are those who did not make it. Those who, despite our best efforts, lose the fight. Before the pandemic broke out, one would see the gurney rolling down the hallway rarely. Maybe once every other month or longer.Since the pandemic broke out, each surge has changed the frequency one sees the gurney roll down the hall. Lately, the gurney has been seen quite often. Sometimes four times Read More…

POSITION STATEMENT OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN GHANA AND GHANAIAN HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN GHANA AND THE DIASPORA ON “THE PROMOTION OF PROPER HUMAN SEXUAL RIGHTS AND FAMILY VALUES BILL 2021”

Following the submission of the above bill known in some circles as the Ghana Anti-LGBT+ bill, to parliament several of us health professionals, in Ghana and the diaspora, have taken the opportunity to review the bill. We have come to a consensus that the proposed bill contains several provisions that raise significant medical, scientific, and public health concerns. On that account we believe the bill if passed can cause damage to the health and wellbeing of individual citizens and the public Read More…

How Good Is One’s Immunity After a Covid-19 Infection?

Several recent studies show that not all who get a positive COVID-19 diagnosis by RT-PCR develop antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus or seroconvert. An Israeli group showed that 5% of all their COVID-19 positive patients did not seroconvert (Oved K et al., EClinicalMedicine 29 (2020) The team of Wellinghausen et al. from Germany (J Clin Virol. 2020;130) showed that 85% of confirmed COVID-19 contacts failed to seroconvert. A New York group showed in their seroprevalence studies that 20% of pRead More…

Covid-19 Vaccines: Do We Really Need Booster Shots?

As humans, our first line of defense against viral pathogens is the innate immune response. That includes things like the skin, cytokines, and macrophages. This response tries to hold the line till the adaptive immune response system kicks in. This process can take about 7 – 14 days. The adaptive system is made up of the humoral and cellular components. The humoral part has the B-lymphocytes that make antibodies to go after the virus outside the cell. The cellular system is made of T-cells thatRead More…

The Alphabet Soup of SARS-CoV-2 Variants: When Will it Cease?

It is more than 18 months since the first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed in the US. Most of us hoped for a vaccine which we believed will end the pandemic. Today we have several vaccines and the pandemic still rages on with the emergence of new viral variants. Current vaccines show good efficacy, but the emergence of the delta variant, has raised concern of cracks in vaccine protection. This has made the possibility of variants that totally escape vaccine immune control more real.Read More…

Dehumanizing The Weak and Underprivileged To Obtain or Maintain Power and Wealth

Many over the centuries have sought political power for the prestige it provides. Some have sought power to bring about the changes that they wished for in their communities or societies. There are also those who seek power for the sake of power. They do not seek power for the prestige; neither do they do so to bring about any specific change. They use power just as a child would play with a toy. History has some examples Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus AD 54 of Rome, Andrew JaRead More…

Tyranny By The Majority in One of Africa’s Functional Theocracies

When we think of tyrannical theocratic regimes our minds go to the Middle East. Countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Yemen feature strongly. These nations, unfortunately, appear to hold the monopoly on using centuries old religious laws as tools of oppression. The truth is however very far from that. Theocratic regimes are all over the world. Ghana is using family values to take an inflexible stance on issues related to sexual expression. The nation appears to be held in Read More…

Global Pandemic Control: Where Did We Go Wrong?

It is 18 months since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic. The global deaths now is 8467, more than what was reported in the worst days of April and May 2020. The geographic distribution of the deaths is however different. In the early days most of the deaths were in the US and several western European countries. Today the deaths are mostly from low and middle income nations and in many cases the numbers are increasing. In 2020 most of us could blame the deaths Read More…

Peering Through A Smoky Glass Screen: Visions of The New Post Covid-19 Workplace

Vaccine implementation across the country is giving way to easing of social distancing restrictions. With successful vaccine deployment many are getting ready to transition back to a physical work environment. As we transition towards a physical workplace, we will need to remember the many individuals in various work situations who never had the luxury of working remotely. We need to remember that many had to manage in a hybrid work environment. The transition to a physical workplace, thus, meaRead More…

Are Human Rights Only Important After We Have Addressed Economic Hardships?

Over the past weekend I started a campaign to draw attention to Ghanaian gay rights activists arrested in Ghana. These activists were arrested at a conference organized to raise awareness in the community on frequent acts of aggression and harassment by the police and civil society against their community members. The campaign was embraced by many but I got some very useful feedback. In this post I will share just a few for us to consider. I will like to ask this question; “Are human rights oRead More…

On Diversity: What 7 years at Motown Taught Me

I was 12 years when I went to Achimota school. The New Hope pupil from Korle bu, became an Achimotan. By the time I left the school 7 years later, the ideals of the school formed the superstructure into which a lot of my life would fit. I had been taught how to spell in New Hope, in Achimota I learnt how to punctuate, and formulate. I had learnt Arithmetic in New Hope, in Achimota I learnt logical reasoning. I had learnt how to obey rules in New Hope, in Achimota I learnt how to question. I sanRead More…

What Does One Do When A Pandemic Celebrates 40 years?

Yes it is 40 years old now and I can say I have known it most of these 40 years. How does one celebrate a pandemic? As someone who went through my teens in the 80s, I was scared of it. As a medical student and physician I saw many patients die of it. At some time in Ghana almost of all those diagnosed where admitted to an isolation unit. Many never went home from that unit. Sometimes it was because the families will not take them back. Usually, they died before they were stable enough to go hRead More…

The Evolution of My African Religious Identity: A Struggle for Cultural Synchrony

Current data suggests that many African countries appear on the list of the most religious countries in the world. A closer look at our religious identities suggests that most Africans belong to two major religious groups Christianity and Islam. Pew Research suggests that there are more professing Christians in Africa than in any continent in the world. This often begs the question “what did Africans believe before their conversion to these foreign religious faiths?” Others, may wonder at wRead More…

It is Not All About Slavery: Decoding The Roots of US Racial Inequities

The debate over paying reparations for US Blacks is a centuries old question. It starts way back in the early days of “40 acres and a mule”. Today most of us know what became of that very good intention. Some blacks got land and maybe some mules. Unfortunately, as soon as the sheriff in town changed those without any power of their own lost what had been given to them. Andrew Johnson, a Southerner who took over after Lincoln’s assassination quickly reversed these statutes. So, the question on rRead More…

The Unique Art of Cursing

My cousin Kofi who lives in Detroit had been trying to reach me for days. Our schedules did not allow me to call at a reasonable time. I had not been able to keep several promises to call him either. Since I knew he was an early bird, I decided to call him one Friday morning on my drive to the hospital. Note that I set off for work around 6:15 am. I called up Siri. She responded.I stated my cousin’s name and asked her to call him. She replied, “Calling Kofi D.”Well, I had forgotten thaRead More…

The Church As A Tool of White Supremacy: Do All Lives Matter In America?

The tenets of modern-day Christianity have been reduced to mere perfunctory: church attendance, anti-gay, and anti-abortion rhetorics! Is Jesus’ message of love, selflessness, and evangelism that difficult to practice?! Some Christians these days have replaced Jesus’ message with sticking their noses into other people’s goddamn business! For such people, Jesus’s dictum “blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” Luke 6:20 would be interpreted as “JESUS hates thRead More…

What Lessons Did We Learn From Our History?

Our Current Seat Of Government In the 17th century, the white castle on the Osu scarp called Christiansborg, stood tall. But very little Christian happened within its walls. For centuries, it was the destination of the doomed. It was the bastion of oppression, repression and dehumanization of many who were trapped in it. Within its walls men gave up their wives, chiefs gave their people up. People were sold there for guns, dutch wax, rum…. and less. Only in history are such ironies entrencRead More…

Vaccine Inequality & International Vaccine Diplomacy; What is The Solution?

In the past months with Covid-19 vaccines available in many countries, implementation programs are rolling out across the globe. The effectiveness of such programs is very important in curbing further spread of the pandemic. Vaccines will be key in reducing unnecessary loss of life and ushering us into a new normal way of life. In the US though, those who were most affected by the pandemic are lagging behind in access to vaccines. The infographic below from a publication by the Kaiser Family FRead More…

Did We Defend and Protect The Lives of The Most Vulnerable Among Us?

In the past one year we have lost more than half a million Americans to Covid-19. My worst estimate in March 2020 was a quarter of a million in a year. At that time I was very confident we would not even get close to it. So maybe I was wrong on the virus!! I did not really understand how effective the virus was at spreading. On deeper introspection, I realize that my miscalculation was not with the virus but our behavior, policies, and public health infrastructure. Sanjay Gupta interviewed the Read More…