Contrary to the response from the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, a former minister of health and current Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin, on Sunday, August 18, 2019, strongly defended former President John Dramani Mahama’s statement that the NDC administration consciously and strategically selected girls from Muslim communities to be trained as Gynecologists in 2012.
Speaking on the topic; “NDC and Youth Development: the past, the present and lessons for the future” at a youth conference in Wa, the former Minister of Health highlighted the training of 221 medical officers in Cuba as one of the many things that the NDC did to develop the youth. He said out of the 221 Cuban trainees, two of them were non-practitioners.
Wondering why the Director General of the Ghana Health Service said what he said, Hon. Bagbin explained that H.E President John Dramani Mahama took the bold strategic decision to focus on training the Muslim ladies when he was vice President of the republic, because of the uneasiness Muslim women go through when they face gynecological problems and have to be attended to by just anybody, including male gynecologists. He said the decision was taken at a time he and Hon. Joseph Yiele Chireh were ministers of health.
The defense by the Second Deputy Speaker was acknowledged, applauded and supported by Hon. Joseph Yiele Chireh who himself was a panalist at the programme.
It would be recallrecalled that, Hon. Joseph Yiele Chireh handed over to Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin as Minister of Health in January 2012. At the time, the government of Ghana sent 221 students to Cuba to be first trained as medical practitioners before specializing as gynecologists. As reports indicate, many of these young beneficiaries are ladies who were deliberately and strategically sourced from Muslim communities from across the country. These beneficiaries have returned to the country and a controversy has since ignited over the issue as the Director General of the Ghana Health Service sought to contradict the former President’s recount of the policy at this year’s Ahlu Sunnah Eidul Adha prayers.