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Feat of Prof. Eric Aboagye cannot go unnoticed

BY: Daily Graphic
Prof. Eric Aboagye
Prof. Eric Aboagye

The feat attained by the renowned Ghanaian, Professor Eric Aboagye, cannot go unnoticed.

He is globally acclaimed to have led a team of researchers to discover how a simple single magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain can be enough to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. This is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. The disease is the most common cause of dementia, a continuous decline in thinking, behavioural and social skills that affect a person's ability to function independently.

Prof. Aboagye’s feat is not a mean achievement and could only be achieved through dint of hard work, perseverance and determination.

Many other Ghanaians have achieved similar feats and are even playing pivotal roles in global affairs and it is only fair and proper that we in Ghana acknowledge such achievements.

Names that come readily to mind include the late Kofi Annan, who was the first UN General Secretary, Dr Alex Quaison-Sackey, the first black African to serve as President of the United Nations General Assembly, Dr Kingsley Y. Amoako, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, former Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nii Allotey Odunton, First African Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, and Prof. Frimpong Boateng, first Ghanian to perform a heart transplant, among others.

The celebrated Ghanaian, Prof. Aboagye is a Professor of Cancer Pharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College, London in the United Kingdom. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the British Institute of Radiology Sir Mackenzie Davidson Medal in 2009. He is co-Director of the Imperial College London Experimental Cancer Medicine's Centre.

Prof. Aboagye was born in Ghana and studied Pharmacy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 1989. He moved to the United Kingdom shortly after and completed a master's degree in Pharmaceutical Analysis at the University of Strathclyde. He earned his doctoral degree at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories in Glasgow and was a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University, UK.

On this note, the Daily Graphic will like to commend Prof. Aboagye for his achievements in his line of work so far.

However, our concern has to do with how the country can harness the talents and brains of such successful citizens who are making waves globally to the benefit of our country.

Most often, when you speak to such brains on why they have not come back to the country to help with their areas of expertise, they often cite the unfavourable environment which makes it difficult for them to thrive.

The Daily Graphic is of the view that just as the country is able to scout for footballers from outside the country to play for the Black Stars, it should also be possible to scout for such brains outside and help them set up in the country.

Although on paper we read about the country’s readiness to support indigenes who are abroad and want to come back home to establish themselves, the bottlenecks that these people face when they return leave a sour taste in their mouths.

Some go back to where they came from dejected, with their investment gone down the drain.

We, therefore, call on the government to look into such issues and take an interest in helping such intelligent personalities return home and settle comfortably.

With such professionals, the gains to the country will be enormous as it will lead to knowledge transfer to many more people.

Also, in the area of health, the Daily Graphic believes that as doctors refuse postings to deprived communities, some of the health professionals who wish to establish themselves in the country will love to go to the countryside and offer their expertise to those who need it most.