E-cigarettes and The Vaping Craze, Is this Safer Than Smoking Tobacco? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

As a physician taking care of a largely HIV positive population in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 2010s, I was surprised to learn that many of my patients who were about my age or a few years older than myself were coming down with strokes and heart attacks. I still remember one gentleman who in his 40s had already had 3 heart attacks and was fortunate to live to tell the tale.
The point of this short tale is that tobacco use is still by far the commonest cause of preventable deaths in most coRead More…

Advertisements

A Little Neglect May Breed Mischief, By Nana Dadzie Ghansah

Robert Mugabe aka Uncle Bob died last week at the ripe old age of 95. He followed a long list of African leaders who died abroad where they fled to seek treatment after neglecting the medical facilities in their home countries. Mugabe died in the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore. Over the years, Singapore is where he went for his physicals and treatment while the common Zimbabwean had to make do with the terrible healthcare services at home.
Anytime one of these leaders dies in a hospital abroadRead More…

Maternal Mortality in Rural US and Ghana are there any Similarities? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

As a medical student in Ghana I still clearly remember trips made with my colleagues to parts of rural Volta Region in Ghana to learn about the impact of training of Traditional Birth Attendants on maternal mortality. This experience imprinted in my mind how simple interventions can impact health outcomes. In many parts of Ghana most people live at least a half days walk to the nearest health center. Most of these health centers are under the ministry of health and have facilities for delivery aRead More…

The Silent Killers, Is This Just a Myth? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

Talk of the silent killer has many people worried specifically related to sudden deaths. In health though silent killers abound and the anxiety related to their impact on our lives is not one that is easily assuaged. In my own life, over the course of about 5 years the numbers of friends, family members, and old classmates said to have died suddenly without any obvious antecedent illness continues to grow. It appears to me this situation is more common among friends and family living in GhaRead More…

The Public Health Implications of Current Title X Funding Restrictions

Last Monday August 19th 2019 the Planned Parenthood Federation of America made a decision to withdraw from Title X funding. This program which is older than most of us was enacted by President Richard Nixon as Public Health Law 91-572 a part of the Public Health Services Act in 1970. The law passed the Senate unanimously and the house voted 298 to 32 to send this Bill on to President Nixon for his signature.
Judging by the voting record this law was very popular in 1970 so why would Planned PareRead More…

Faith and Government, How Do We Achieve Balance Whilst Respecting All Our Faith Traditions? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

I grew up in a Christian family so I understand the expectations of a life lived for the honor of God. I understand the concept of Christians supporting each other to good works. I believe in the need for people of faith to pray for the good of their nation and its leaders.
In my life through I have seen and experienced some Christian traditions that go further than what I believed. I have heard and been instructed on the ideology of taking by force in Christian proselytizing which I reject. I hRead More…

Rewriting The New Colossus, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

Emma Lazarus a poet and activist wrote the poem on the plaque of the Statue of Liberty. The words say;
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
These worlds welcomed immigrants to the United States from 1903 to 1954 when Ellis Island served as immigrant inspectionRead More…

The Good Guy with a Gun, By Nana Dadzie Ghansah

Yesterday, a 20-year-old armed man gave Walmart shoppers in Springfield, MO a horrible scare. It is unclear what was his motive for walking into the Walmart around 4 pm yesterday dressed in combat fatigues, body armor and armed with a tactical rifle, a handgun and more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
After the shootings a few days ago in El Paso and Dayton, a lot of people are on edge.
He was later arrested by an off-duty firefighter who had a gun and this is being hailed by those who are againstRead More…

A Tribute to Toni Morrison, a Giant in American Contemporary Literature, By Nana Dadzie Ghansah

Toni Morrison is one of those really great writers whose books I found so difficult to read because of the subjects they explored. Her work touched on the African-American experience – especially that of the black woman – so starkly that often, the sympathy I felt for her characters overwhelmed me. Full disclosure – stories and movies about slavery, apartheid, Jim Crow era, the holocaust…even what the Palestinians are going through now, depress me to the point where I just want to withdraw iRead More…

Why I Still Wonder, Man The Ultimate Miracle of Nature, By Dr. Teddy Totimeh

The human body is an ecosystem of value creation and dissemination. It is a collection of cells with an unimaginable capacity to achieve. The scope of what this collection of cells is able to create is mind blowing. To look around and see all that has been built by humanity, is to amaze oneself with the extent of what is possible. There is really no limit to what a human being can achieve. On the contrary there is also no limit to the extent to which one can fail.
How cells can harness simple moRead More…

America Does Not Have a Race or Gun Problem We Have a Leadership Problem, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

Last weekend, we had two mass shootings with a total death toll of 29. One of these shootings was in El Paso and is being judged a hate crime based on a manifesto posted by the shooter about 20 minutes before the incident. The shooter in El Paso, TX shot and killed 20 people in a Walmart used by Americans and Mexicans who cross over to shop. The other shooter killed 9 people in a popular club district at 1am on Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio.
Anytime such shootings occur we hear the same words bRead More…

The Socialist Agenda, The Bogeyman Who is Going to Get US All, By Leonard Sowah

As a child I loved to garden and actually still do. One reason why I love gardening is the joy I get from watching plants grow and die. As a lazy gardener though I have learned to appreciate the beauty of perennials. Afterall, what is better than planting a flower once and having it come back to life year after year. My perennials except for losing their deer resistant traits overtime tend to do very well. I am however still wondering if the deer resistant feature was  designed to be lost just Read More…

Colon Cancer Prevention, Do we Really Know Enough? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

I recently visited my primary care doctor after more than a year. At the end of the visit he gave me some encouraging feedback. My weight was stable, he may be right there but I know the weight is not everything since my belt has advanced about a hole since my last visit. He mentioned that my blood pressure was stable and normal in spite of a positive family history of hypertension. Then he asked about my next birthday and I knew he was moving on to the dreaded territory of colonoscopies becauseRead More…

Patriotism Redefined, By Dr. Yaw Berko

One of my favourite Bible stories appears in the book of Luke. An earnest lawyer who had tried to set up Jesus asked a question to justify himself! He asked Jesus “who is my neighbour?” Jesus then told the parable of the Good Samaritan, a curveball of a description of neighbourliness that astounded the lawyer!
In modern America, the word ”patriotism” is thrown around so much I have begun to wonder what the definition of patriotism is? As a black man, I feel “patriotism” is bandied abRead More…

Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in The US, Is This Really New? By Nana Dadzie Ghansah

Besides descendants of the original Native American inhabitants of this land, there is hardly an American alive today who does not trace his or her origin to another continent. And yet throughout the history of this great country, some established residents have despised immigrants and blamed the newcomers for all the societal ills of the day.
Even the venerable Benjamin Franklin did not take lightly to the Germans coming in the 1700s. In 1775 he wrote, “A Colony of Aliens, who will shortly beRead More…

Ghana’s Healthcare System; An Obvious Tug of War, By Dr. Teddy Totimeh

There is a certain reality that one must accept as a healthcare worker in Ghana. There are certain truths to be assumed. In our environment healthcare is a poorly managed space. It’s a Wild West on this side of the economic divide. There are some good aspects, daily threatened by the bad. This is my reality, there are the patients who can not afford what we can provide. And then the government which cannot afford the staff to provide the range of medical care that people need. And the staff thRead More…

Can You Make America Whole Again? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

In the past two and a half years Americans have been subjected to a barrage of tweets, statements and policies that could only serve one purpose, divide us along racial, religious and ideological lines. Our President says he is doing all these to make America great again but in the meantime he is continuously widening the gulf that has developed between us.
My primary question to him is very simple. In Africa there is a proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far,Read More…

Is it Really Un-African? By Dr. Nana Dadzie Ghansah

Remarks the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, made during an interview on Al-Jazeera recently on the lack of gay rights in Ghana, has set the whole country into a frenzied discussion about the issue.
Click the link to listen to Akuffo-Addo’s interview on Al-Jazeera
Both sides of the debate have legitimate concerns but one argument from the anti-gay crowd piqued my interest.
It is the point that homosexuality is un-African.
With my curiosity tickled, and in the spirit of the acquisRead More…

Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal of The Day? Dr. Leonard Sowah

Most of us grew up with this adage burned into our brains. We have been advised to start the day with a good breakfast. Breakfast food companies like Kelloggs have used this in marketing messages for years. With concerns about Kelloggs involvement in some of the Food Science Research things can sometimes appear murky. When your mechanic says you need a car maintenance visit every week you have every reason to question if he has your interest or his interest at heart.
This situation has caused meRead More…

The Color of Justice, By Dr. Nana Dadzie Ghansah

“My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.”
– Bryan Stevenson from his book “Just Mercy”
By the time the verdict in the trial of OJ Simpson for the murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, was read in Superior Court in LA on October 5, 1995, he had spent upwards of $9 million on attorneys. His “Dream Team” of defense attorneys included stalwarts like JohnnRead More…