Racism in America; Can we Erase the Legacy?

In 1619 the foundations of racism in America was laid down in the purchase of 20 captured Africans from Angola. This foundation started out as a form of indentured servitude. This was similar to what some poor Irishmen who had to work to pay for their passage experienced. For blacks though this eventually evolved into chattel slavery. Around this bedrock we developed a fictional narrative of white superiority and black subservience. Today very few of us acknowledge the color or the nature of thRead More…

Leadership & Knowing What is Right

One of my favorite Presidents once said “A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right” Lyndon Baines Johnson. Born in Ghana in the 1970s one may wonder how I know so much about LBJ? LBJs life inspired my father so much that he named his oldest son Lyndon Baines Sowah. So I pretty much grew up with LBJ. As an immigrant in America I got the opportunity to read Master of the Senate by Robert A Caro. This book which chronicles the life and works of President Read More…

America the Beautiful

This evening, like a lot of evenings, I sat down to write. Today, I could not. I was overcome with a deep sadness for my adopted home, the USA, and the way she is being devastated by COVID-19. The first Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded in 1901. By 2019, 110 prizes have been awarded to 219 scientists in Physiology and Medicine. 94 of these have been Americans.We have the CDC, the ultimate authority on epidemics. We have all of the NIH. There is a biotech firm at every streeRead More…

Racism in America Today; Is It All About Race or Should We Follow The Money?

In 1619 a Dutch sheep landed in the Virginia colonies with 20 Africans captured from Angola. This was the first recorded shipment of slaves to any of the lands constituting present day USA. This however was not the first instance of slavery in the New World. The Portuguese were the first to bring Africans to the Americas to mines in the Caribbean and South America. The island of Hispaniola, present day Haiti and Dominican Republic received its first shipment of enslaved Africans in 1525. The eRead More…

Epidemic Control Using Science or Wall Street Ideology

Many countries have seen their peak in cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the rear view mirror. Unfortunately the United States is still forging ahead in this epidemic. I wrote a previous post about preparing for a post Covid-19 world. As time goes on this seems less and less likely to happen in the near future. Since February there have been more than 3.2 million cases and 132,382 deaths. Initial attempts at control appeared successful with a peak in April followed by a decline, daily cases have howeRead More…

The Christian Gospel Used As A Tool of The Imperialist

As a boy I always had a fascination with cultures other than my own. This was a curiosity that sought to understand what these cultures believed and how these beliefs had developed. I remember my grandmother’s stories of how our people, the Ga ended up on the eastern coastal plains of Ghana. A recent ancestral DNA placed my sequences to be about 60% related to the Yoruba peoples of South Western Nigeria. A finding that may support the oral history of my Ghanaian ethnic group. Among the cultRead More…

Does Black Lives Matter not care about “Broken Fatherless Black families?”

I have realised that anytime BLM and protesters react to police brutality, detractors always point to various “whataboutisms”. Many would ask “what about black on black crime.?” “What about aborted black babies?” “Does BLM not care about broken black families with absent fathers?” These irritating questions as noted by an astute journalist are as annoying as me asking Americans “what about Americans killing other Americans” during the 911 attacks?” American history hasRead More…

Racialized Policing, Is it a Societal Problem or a Police Issue?

As a physician I have taken care of a many recently incarcerated persons. Most of these guys were not armed robbers or even drug offenders as the media may suggest. These were almost all black or brown men who lost their freedoms from nuisance infractions that did not need to end up in an arrest The death of Rayshard Brooks brings to light how some of these arrests occur. The only reason we know about Rayshard Brooks was because he ended up dead in the course of this arrest. Garrett Rolfe, tRead More…

Good bye Alex, Tribute to a Friend and Medical Colleague

‘Teach us good Lord to number our days that we will apply our hearts to wisdom’ Psalm 90:1-2 For many of us our journey with Alex started in October 1991. This was for us, the beginning of an arduous path to become healers. Healers of broken and ailing bodies and sometimes of the mind as well. For a good part of seven to eight years we shared this journey with its joys as well as numerous trials and adversities with Alex Ire.  Most of us remember Alex as the ever-smiling young geRead More…

White Supremacy and Our Flat Earth!

Growing up on the coast meant that I always wondered about the sea. Driving by the beach and seeing the waves beating on the shores was always a joy to behold. Up to today watching and listening to the sea and the waves has always helped me relax. Relaxation is not the only feeling watching the sea invokes in me. The sea was also scary for another totally different reason. I wondered what lay beyond the horizon. And was worried I would fall off the edge if I ever managed to get that far. TRead More…

Police Brutality against Blacks, Is it Racism or Implicit Bias?

There have been more than enough innocent black people’s lives lost at the hands of the US police force. The numbers are so overwhelming I would not try to give you a quantity lest I be called out for false data. The impact of George Floyd’s death on this country and internationally is just testimony to this fact. For many George Floyd’s case was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The innocent blood of Tamar Rice, Philando Castile, Freddy Gray, Eric Garner, Rayshard Brooks and many Read More…

Let my people go, Why America has failed to live up to the Emancipation Proclamation?

On January 1st 1863 approaching the third year of the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” This proclamation did not go far enough since it left slavery untouched in the loyal border states. States like Maryland, the President’s own birth state of Kentucky, West Virginia and Washington, DC maintained their slaves. The result though Read More…

Rest In Peace George Floyd! A Sermon from a Sh*tholer

“…….. He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and he was left alone, and the woman where she was, in the midst. And straightening up, Jesus said to her. “Woman where are they? Did no one condemn you?” “And she said no one Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin Read More…

Is it all Hemorrhoids or ‘Koh Koh’?

In a recent conversation with an old friend I realized they had medical issues which drove our conversation towards a totally different path. Well this very nice conversation had me going all the way back 35 years ago. This conversation took me back to a bus ride from Accra to Cape Coast from the Tantri station at Kaneshie, Accra. I still remember the many trips from Accra to Cape Coast as a student in boarding school. Traveling with the State Transport buses which were much more comfortable usRead More…

Is This Christianity or Just Another Reality TV Show?

“I AM OUTRAGED! I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT MY EYES HAVE SEEN THIS EVENING.” – Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington Mariann Edgar Budde’s response to the President’s actions: “The President just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for. To do so, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard of peaceful protesters.I am outRead More…

The Last 66 Minutes of George Floyd’s life

I am done crying and feeling lost and worthless. I am done cursing God, life and the day the first European set foot in West Africa. I am done wondering “Why?”Now back to what I do best. What for me is really cathartic.Writing!Here we go: The events that led to the death of George Floyd on the evening of May 25 2020 in Minneapolis, MN are clearly spelled out in the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin. This account was crafted from that as well as from the Fire Department and EMS recordsRead More…

Of Lost Opportunities and Hypocrisy

In 1960 in response to police brutality, the Black Panther Party embarked on a program called “Copwatching” in which they patrolled the streets of Oakland lawfully carrying loaded firearms to patrol their neighbourhoods! In response to that, an irate California Republican assemblyman helped enact a law called the Mulford Act which repealed a law allowing public carrying of loaded firearms! The NRA surprisingly was one of the ardent supporters of this gun control legislation. In signRead More…

Stop and Frisk Policing; Did it Make our Community Safer?

For many years the city of New York congratulated Mayors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg for making them safer. Their success was attributed to a policing practice that was later described as racially profiling Black and Hispanics residents. Stop Question and Frisk only required one to look “suspicious” for a police officer to stop and search them. The practice also termed Terry Stops was initiated under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Rudy hinged his political career on the success of stop-and-friskRead More…

Who is going to be the Rev. James Reeb of the 21st Century?

As I watched the biopic of one of the Greatest American Generals ever, U. S Grant and his role in winning The Civil War and keeping the Union together, I could not help but wonder at the number of Northern soldiers most of whom volunteered to fight on the right side of history. Almost all of them were not victims of slavery nor should they have cared, but the American Spirit in them jostled them into action to fight for Equal Rights and Justice! Many of them lost their lives just for a cause thRead More…

Results from the Phase I trial in humans of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine: a Synopsis

One of the vaccine candidates for COVID-19 at the Phase I stage is the non-replicating adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology (Beijing, China) and CanSino Biologics (Tianjin, China). Three days ago, the results of the Phase I trial of the vaccine in humans was published in the Lancet. (Zhu, Feng-Cai et al. Lancet Online. May 22, 2020). The vaccine is very similar to the one being developed by the Oxford group. Both use adenoviRead More…

Did Coronavirus turn the US into a third-world country?

As a surgeon who has been working in the US healthcare system for the last twenty years. I never imagined I would ever see what has transpired in the first quarter of the year 2020. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would experience such a retrogression in the delivery of healthcare. Let me explain. In over 20 years of surgical missions across Africa I have seen and experienced how lack of resources can influence healthcare delivery. Typically, on our trips, we bring along suppliRead More…

Something must kill a man!

In the past few days, the internet has been abuzz with the story of a nurse in a hospital in Tula, Russia. She showed up for her shift in the all-male COVID-19 patient ward with no clothing save for her underwear under her transparent PPE.A picture posted online by one of the patients shows an older gentleman in the background staring at the nurse with a delightful look on his face. The look on the older man’s face reminded me of an incident involving an older male and a beautiful woman ovRead More…

A Solutions Based Approach to Problem Solving

For many years I have lamented the lack of trained health workers in Ghana to treat precancerous lesions of the cervix. A handful of gynecologists in Ghana are equipped with the skill to treat precancerous lesions of the cervix with Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). This is an essential component if Ghana will win the fight against cervical cancer. Precancerous lesions of the cervix need to be treated so that they don’t develop into cancer. In January 2020 (celebrated as cervicRead More…

Covid-19 Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome

Since COVID-19 broke out, the data has shown relatively fewer children getting infected or severely ill. 2% of cases described in patients under age 20 (Wu et al. JAMA. 2020). The pediatric deaths from COVID-19 have been few and far between (Dong et al. Pediatrics. 2020) In March, Dr. Veena Goel Jones, a pediatrician with Palo Alto Medical Foundation in California, treated a 6-month-old baby girl with the rare Kawasaki’s Disease. Following hospital protocol, she tested the bay for COVI-19.Read More…

Race and Ethnicity in the Era of Covid-19

Racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare has always been a feature of the American health system. This is an issue that all minorities in the healthcare field address in their own way. Some get embroiled in this, others stay cognizant but accept it as just one of the things you have to deal with as an American, others just totally attempt to ignore it or in extreme circumstances deny of its existence. I believe my response has traversed many of these different approaches because in a way thiRead More…