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…

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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…

American Plutocracy and The Myth of Trickle Down Economics, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

Anyone who has any experience with money knows that it is not subject to the laws of gravity. In reality it has a tendency to move up the economic ladder from the least financially stable to the economic giants of the day. Most wealthy individuals recognize this yet being human they do not want to take any chances lest economic resources flow up from the masses to other wealthy pockets.
Thus the greed and political power of the plutocrats of the day has become the most destabilizing factor in ouRead More…

The Legacy of Slavery and its Impact on the Exercise of Freedom in the United States, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

The initial agricultural economy of the Americas was very much dependent on cheap labor. The best economic solution of the day was the use of black African and white mostly Irish indentured servants. While white indentured servants eventually regained their freedom; over time captured Africans would provide a continuous supply of cheap labor for the development of the young nation.
The first Africans who arrived in the Virginia Colonies came on an English ship flying a Dutch flag in 1619. They wRead More…

Happy 243rd Birthday to the USA, By Dr. Nana Dadzie Ghansah

Of the 355 Tuskegee Airmen who served as single-engine combat pilots during WW II, only 12 were alive as of the end of May this year.
One of them is Lt. Col. Harry Stewart. He flew 43 combat missions with the 332nd Fighter Group known as the Red Tails. On Easter Sunday 1945, he shot down 3 long-nosed Focke-Wulf Fw 190s, the best fighters in the German Luftwaffe. For this feat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He was born on July 4, 1924, and thus turns 95 today.
A few days ago, he Read More…

African Men Cry in the Dark, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

As a child growing up in Ghana, this saying was burned into my brain “bεεma nsu” a Twi phrase which means ‘real men don’t cry’. That was the ethos and the ideology of life that I grew up with. One of my favorite books “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe epitomized this belief in its main character, Okonkwo. Reading this popular novel by the Nigerian writer only served to confirm my belief in the African Machismo behind the refrain “bεεma nsu”. I can still remember Chapter 7 of that book veRead More…

Kigali, Rwanda; Showing What is Possible in Africa with Responsible Leadership – By Dr. Teddy Totimeh

I have been in Kigali the last three days, in the presence of leaders and influencers that only the Eisenhower Fellows can pull together. It has been an insightful 3 days in a city that has shown that Africa can have a future, we just have to create it ourselves. I heard submissions on the future of work, technology and governance on our continent. I came away from this beautiful city hopeful, educated and impatient for progress. I have seen and heard a President talk about progress, not in the Read More…

The Thermostat Wars, Is This Another Case of Men are From Mars and Women from Venus? By Leonard Sowah

In my home we always have an ongoing fight on the ideal temperature setting for our thermostat. After several ups and downs we have settled on 70˚F but every so often I come home and realize the house is feeling like an oven only to find the thermostat set at 80˚F. Even for a Ghanaian who grew up in Accra just a few degrees North of the Equator that is a total disaster. I cannot function at that temperature and more importantly I just cannot sleep well at such high temperatures.
I still remembRead More…

Abortion Policy in America Today, How do we Address Faith in this Politically Charged Debate?

For some reason the current political climate in the US is prone to driving issues into two extremes that rarely ever mirrors anybody’s genuine position. In the past few months many states in the US have come up with multiple laws which limit access to safe legal abortions for American women. Some of these laws like the recent Alabama law are very restrictive and go as far as to outlaw abortions in situations such rape and incest. One other concerning feature is that most of these laws are beingRead More…

Recreational and Medical Marijuana use Today, Are we ready for the change? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

In the past decade several US states have enacted laws legalizing marijuana use to various degrees. Whilst these changes are very welcome federal laws at this time still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance.  There are still many individuals doing jail time for various violations of marijuana statutes in both federal and state prisons across the country. In my medical practice I have used the legal marijuana derivative Marinol to treat various ailments but I have not recommended smokingRead More…

Healing from prejudice, discrimination and abuse of all kinds, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

In a previous post I wrote about my evolving experience with the LGBTQ community. Whilst being a black man from Africa did help me understand what it may feel like to be gay or queer, it was also a great drag. Anyone who has had any type of interaction with black Africans or specifically Ghanaians would know we are a very religious people. Our form of religion usually Christian for me rarely has any room for open discussion on sexuality. I actually have a dear friend back in Ghana whose first quRead More…

LACK OF MEDICAID EXPANSION, RURAL HOSPITAL CLOSURES AND RURAL HIV EPIDEMIC – ARE THESE RELATED IN ANY WAY?

An analysis of CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) data by Navigant suggests that about 20% of US rural hospitals are at risk of closure, this data does not consider all the hospitals that have already closed down. Researchers used a benchmark of an average 1.4% operating margin over the past three years, 78.5 days cash on hand and 49.8% debt-to-capitalization ratio to determine financial viability. Based on this benchmark, 23 – 50% of rural hospitals in states like  West VirgRead More…

Homelessness and Inequality Across the US

In a recent news article I read about disputes in the city of San Francisco over the location of a shelter for the homeless. As a physician who started his career in the United States working for Healthcare for the Homeless in Baltimore, Maryland this issue is not alien to me. Whilst services for the poor and disadvantaged do abound in the United States and more than $400 billion dollars of donations annually fund these charitable organizations there is always a challenge when one attempts to buRead More…

Escaping Domestic Abuse: The Reality by Rasheeda Adams

A lot of women in abusive situations are shocked at the answer I give them when they call me to ask what to do about their situation.
I simply tell them “ it’s your decision to make”, but what I can do for you, is be your listening ear and your sounding board, for when you’re ready to start taking care of yourself and possibly your life”
I say that not because I have chosen to be harsh, I say it because nobody can take a victim of abuse away from the situation until they are ready to fRead More…

What can Big Pharma learn from Coca Cola?

Growing up in Ghana I always knew Coca Cola was a Ghanaian Company and would have continued to believe that until Coca Cola refused to honor economic sanctions on the Apartheid South African government. The big Beverage Company continued business in South African amid protests in Africa and pressure from Black Activist in the US. That was when I learned that Coca Cola Company was a big multinational Company with subsidiaries across the world. Coca Cola is so good at this local integration that mRead More…

How we can ensure that Advances in Medicine Benefits All

As a student in School of Public Health I learned one basic fact of life; new ideas in most fields including medicine usually benefit the most advantaged in society the most. This lesson will follow me when I started practicing medicine as a physician in Baltimore City. In the clinics and the wards in which I practiced I discovered some of the many reasons why new ideas were more beneficial for the wealthy, better educated and the well connected; These new medical interventions are usually exRead More…

Is your Hypertension medication causing you problems in the bedroom? By Dr. Leonard Sowah

Doc, is this medication going to make me have problems with erection? I have heard this question so often from men concerned about getting on blood pressure medications that I have learned to respect this very important problem related to medication adherence.  Truthfully though, like all questions that most doctors have to contend with, this one does not have a simple and straight-forward answer. If these answers were that easy I would be looking for a job in another field because I would soonRead More…

America’s Sports Leagues and Draft System; is it Socialism, Modern day Slavery or both? By Dr. Yaw Berko

If you have an opinion in America you definitely have a label. I have been accused by both black and white patients of being racist. So I guess I am “biracist”. I also believe in limited government so I am against any government interference in what two consenting adults should do, I am pro-choice and like former Speaker Mr. Boehner an ardent advocate for legalisation of cannabis, so I have been accused of being a liberal! As a physician with a good grasp of what pertains in the trenches andRead More…

The Symbol of Renewed White Identity and Common Purpose ?

For many reasons I have my doubts that our current president considers the needs of people like me. This situation has been the source of significant degree of angst and discontent with the president’s leadership. I have a long list of actions and pronouncements by him that suggest to me that Mr. Trump either does not believe non-white Americans deserve the same protections and opportunities as whites. I have had concerns that I may not be very objective in my assessments on Mr. Trump but I keepRead More…

Racialized Policing and The Fear That Kills Blacks in America, By Dr. Leonard Sowah

In 2002 a University of Colorado Psychology Professor Joshua Correll undertook a study using a first person shooter video game to study police officer decision making with regards to the use of deadly force. In this game police officers were exposed to different individuals holding weapons and innocuous items. The object of this game was to determine how often these officers made the correct decisions i.e. shooting when they face a real peril to their lives. In this game which he later reportedRead More…

Alleged Fake Racist Attacks and Other Matters ? By Dr. Yaw Berko

Right after the elections of Barack Obama, the first Black president of the United States, I heard lots of people including some TV analysts declare that America has entered a “post-racial” era where one’s skin colour did not determine his destiny!
With my usual shithole sceptism; I could not help but wonder how such declarations could be made so quickly! Well, when it comes to real social black credentials, Barack is as black as they come. Surely, no husband of Michelle Robinson could be acRead More…

It’s not all about sex and drug use, it’s just life !!

It is not the drug addicts fault that he or she needs to get a fix to just feel normal. Nor is it the fault of a young man that he has gonorrhea. And then what about that guy who gets shot in the belly over a drug deal gone bad. In an ideal world we are all responsible for our choices; but is this always true? This question is what brings out  the obvious complexities in life and the choices that we all have to make sometimes. I have learned by experience to replace judgement with sympathy Read More…

Progress; Four Centuries from the era of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade – By Dr. Teddy Totimeh

Its been 400 years since the first slaves landed in Virginia. Something terrible was born with that first shipload. The consequences of the most inhumane economic policy ever practiced on this earth still persist today.  Whole societies were disrupted and families were torn apart without any regard for the feelings and hopes of those involved. This system challenged the concept of humanity in ways that has eluded any attempts to explain rationally except in economic terms.
Our societies gave peRead More…

WHEN PERSPECTIVE MATTERS! BY DR. YAW BERKO

I look at my life currently and proclaim that truly, America is the greatest country on Earth! I firmly believe my story is only possible in the United States of America! I also give due recognition that I work hard for what I am now. I live in an upper middle class neighbourhood. I am one of two black families that live there. I am an early riser, usually up by 5 AM and so I have 2 hours to spare before I get to work. Some mornings as I lay in bed reminiscing about life, I only wonder what it Read More…