Despite blazing the trail at MESTI as a cabinet minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng still finds time to save lives by performing open-heart surgeries on weekends.
In a country where virtually all politicians insist on being addressed as “Honorable”; where the cabinet ministers work hard to produce results lest they be “embarrassed” at cabinet meetings because the president is reported to usually “know more about” the sector ministries; and where high egos amongst some ministers are not exactly lacking, meet Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) who prefers the title of “Prof” to “Honorable,” and who performs open-heart surgeries for free on Saturdays.
It is an uneventful Saturday morning in Accra, and the trotro drivers are being their usual annoying selves. For everyone, this is just another Saturday, but to a young boy of about ten, life is in balance. A part of his heart’s circuitry is “undeveloped” and needs repair to keep him alive. One mistake in this complex process and Ghana’s population will reduce by one.
Thus for close to eight hours, a team of Cardiothoracic surgeons led by Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng labored. The first surprise was how these doctors and their assisting nurses are able to stand on their feet for hours without losing an iota of concentration. “On that table, you don’t think about anything else but the mission at hand so how can you lose concentration,” asked Prof in response to our inquiries.
“But you can’t cheat nature; when you stand on your feet for that long, you get tired,” asked our DNT reporter. “Well that’s true, but on that table, that has never been an issue,” Prof responded.
After close to five hours, Prof finally takes a break and a standby surgeon takes his place to join the two (much younger) ones who were working with him. By this time it is well past mid-day and Prof sits on a bed in another room to take his lunch. Half an hour later, the body is tired and he takes an unplanned nap on a chair.
Back at the operating Theater, the three young surgeons, all of whom were trained by Prof, are continuing with the complex procedure. They eventually complete the surgery and sew the young man up. Prof is now back at the theater to oversee the finishing of the surgery.
At one point when somethings on the floor were getting in the way of operations as they were wheeling in the transport bed that would take the young patient into the ICU, Prof actually bends down and clears it up himself just in time. Yes, a Cabinet Minister was picking up debris from the floor of the operating theater to make way.
After the entire operation was finished and the monitor showed the patient’s vital stats in order, Prof finally sat down for the exclusive interview with DNT’s Jermaine Nkrumah.
Watch Diaspora Weekly on DNT this Saturday at 9 am as we place you inside the operating theater where Ghana’s Cabinet Minister Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng practices his gifted skills every weekend when ministerial duty is not calling.