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Opinions of Monday, 1 July 2019

Columnist: Richard Owusu Nyarko & Christian Asum

Letter to the Ministers of Interior, Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and Inspector General of Police from two trainee medical doctors in Ghana

Respectfully we write to your high offices to bring to your notice a motor accident which occurred on Sunday, 2nd June 2019 at Acheampong junction East Legon near papa’s pizza joint.

It was around 2:00pm when we decided to find a place to eat some fufu after long daily hours of lectures and laboratory works. We moved to bar nass, a food joint near Melcom around Acheampong junction, East Legon where our kind of soup was finished so we decided to try living room restaurant. We had little money so the plan was to use the Acheampong junction road to Barclays bank and use the ATM machine before we can be fit enough to enter living room restaurant.

We drove and entered the main road thus the T – junction in front of bar nass, opposite SEL petrol station and headed to the main Acheampong junction road enroute to Barclays bank. With a twinkle of an eye we heard people shouting “eeeeiii obi ba b3 wuo”, ad3n to wit pedestrians and on lookers crying for the dear life of a living being. We looked through the driving mirrors and saw a motor rider with tough speed coming straight in our direction, not knowing whether the rider had either lost control or had failed brake, the free speed was swift and dangerous that we quickly meandered from the side the rider was heading towards to and soon he passed our car and the speed veered him off the main road on to the gravels on the right, sooner the motor hit a knoll and went up coming down with the rider to hit in a trench for his helmet to crack and off it goes, the motor somewhere and the rider on the ground quietly with not even a cricket sound .

Soon people gathered there and they started casting insults “armed robber”, “thief”, you have snatched a phone, okada boys are criminals etc “God made you had this accident and you will die now, next time when you come back to this world you will learn some sense”. Nobody was willing to go near this accident victim. My colleague and I quickly went there and blood was oozing from the victims nose and mouth, bruises and cuts over the face, mouth, hand, legs and elbow.

He has gone unconscious, in our lay man’s view “coma”. The people there wanted to attack us for going near this man, they started insulting us but we resisted and went to him, positioned him well, he was unresponsive, we felt for his pulse and it was beating, some breath sounds heard. “ wow, God is merciful, with this free fall from the top hitting the ground with his head that took away his helmet he was still breathing” We did some basic life serving techniques as has been taught at the medical school. We carried him using the prescribed methods into a car. Most accidents victims die because of the way people handle them, it worsens their ailment, at times increasing suffocation, choking and by the time they get to the hospital they are pronounced dead on arrival, DOA.

As fast as we could we rushed him to the Twumasiwaa medical centre, East Legon where they continued the care and gave him some treatment. After about 30minutes he regained some level of consciousness and the only thing he could say was he is a POLICE OFFICER with East Legon police station, with name PHILIP HOMADZIE, police number ….. soon he switched off again.

We decided to get more helping hands so we called Justice Oteng ESQ, a cousin and a lawyer with Addison Bright Sloanne Law firm, ridge Accra who quickly gave some legal advice and drove out to support.

Luckily we had his phone with us too and there was no lock or codes as others do put on their phones and going through the call list we saw” my wife” so we called and thankfully it was his wife and she rushed to the Twumasiwaa medical centre with her brother and as usual she started the series or episodes of crying. The patient now police officers’ pulse was becoming irregular so we signaled the nurse at the emergency and she said the attending doctor had entered the theatre and she cannot go there so quickly we started another reviving technique and decided to move him to the police hospital and his wife agreed.

While on our way we passed the east Legon police station and as fast as the cheetah, the police got a pickup with hazard lights on and fast to the police hospital where he was rushed to the accident and emergency department and the medical doctor in charge took full cover and started with intravenous fluids, proper maintenance and survival care. We were with him and it took about an hour for him to gain some level of consciousness and his first question was “where are we and why am I here”? And that was a sigh of relief to us all. We left the wife and his colleague police officers who have moved from their unit to help him. With God always kind and merciful, he was admitted for 4 days at the police hospital and discharged on drugs and he is better as of today.

A life has been saved, if we had turned a deaf ear to him on the accident seen and listened to what on lookers were saying, we would have failed as trainee doctors/medical students who strictly by training and by the ethics of the profession are to have the heart power and show empathy to the weak, sick, socially and mentally afflicted people, this innocent young POLICE OFFICER would have died within 5 to 8 minutes of the accident.

Dear Honourable Minister of interior, the Honourable minister of defence, the chief of defence staff and the Inspector General of Police, this is to let you know how many civilians work tirelessly unnoticed in serving humanity and always saving lives of uniformed officers. Sir, IGP, thank God you have your police officer back to life to protect lives and properties and to help in the overall development of mother Ghana.

We think it is never late for the police service and other uniformed officers to engage more with our communities and societies, when the accident happened even the elites or well educated who parked their cars to take photos were afraid to support because they said in case the victim dies, they would be held as suspects, detained and be told to write witness statements. The up and down and subsequent court proceedings make people don’t want to help in such situations, is time the public is educated by your various outfits about what goes into such issues.

This police officer saved by the bell was not in uniform, neither did he has any identity cards so in such situations very few people will get that courage to go and support, we pray much public education is given on what and how people should do if they want to help in cases like this because the notion out there is they are afraid of witness statements and locking them behind bars as suspects mean while they only wanted to save a life of a dying person. Thank you sir and I wish you and the Police service well.

Yours Faithfully

Richard Owusu Nyarko & Christian Asum

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