Embattled former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has disclosed that late former President Jerry John Rawlings immensely supported him to establish the first Cardiothoracic Center in Ghana.
He said even though he personally had no relationship with the former military leader and Founder of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Rawlings expressed great interest in the initiative to establish the center and indeed supported in that regard.
“Before 1981 I was coming from Germany to Ghana twice or thrice a year to conscientize people about the need to have a cardio center in Ghana. It took me eight years before somebody accepted that we have some in Ghana all on my money. In 1986, I came for seven people to train them. They included technicians and nurses. [It] was intensive in Hanover for one year to form the nucleus of the center. I came at the end of 88/89 to start work. When I arrived here, I was just about 39 years old and built the national cardiothoracic center without 1 cedi from the government,” he said.
Prof. Boateng who was speaking in Kumasi as a special guest of honor for the yearlong 40th-anniversary celebration of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International noted that the late John Rawlings gave enormous support to the project and subsequently commissioned the center
“I could have built this at Nkawie, Toase or Sefwi but the thing was that we had to do it. I am talking about the block, but the Germans gave us money to buy the equipment and I must give full marks to Jerry Rawlings for what he did. I did not know him, I didn’t see him, the first time I saw him was when he commissioned the center on the 4th of April 1992, he gave every support because I believe he supported this not because of political expediency but he believed in what we were doing”.
According to him, the selflessness of the late former President which translated into the support he gave out to the project would not have been the same under current political happenings in the country.
“I am sure it would have never been possible in this present time,” he stated.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng was the first black man to perform a heart transplant in Germany in 1985. Later in November 1988, he performed the first heart-lung transplantation in Hannover and returned to Ghana in 1989 to establish the National Cardiothoracic Centre and the Ghana Heart Foundation.