INTRODUCING THE CHRIST THE KING HOSPITAL PROJECT
IN JULY 1988, while a fourth year medical student at the Hanover Medical School in Northern Germany, I went to my native Ghana to do electives in various hospitals.
Also travelling to Ghana for the same purpose was my companion, Angelika, a German national. Prior to my departure and with the kind assistance of my good friend Reverend Gottfried Kawalla, then Superintendent Minister of the Hanover-North district of the local German Lutheran Church, I raised enough funds to purchase a considerable amount of basic medication—anti-malarials, anti-diarrhoea tablets, antibiotics, painkillers, etc.—for further distribution in Ghana.
Angelika accompanied me on a visit to Mpintimpi. The news of the arrival of the ‘doctors’ from Germany soon spread not only throughout the little village, but to the neighbouring villages. Soon individuals with all sorts of medical conditions began to pour into our home. As Ransford, my senior brother who was accompanying us on the journey put it, they had been hiding their diseases for lack of the means to travel to hospital.
What were we to do? Send them away with words like “We are not yet doctors, we are only fourth year medical students!?” How could they understand this, when in real life individuals less qualified than ourselves, so-called quack doctors and dispensers, were roaming about the countryside treating them?
Armed with our stethoscopes, the medication we took along and our textbooks, we did our best to treat the cases brought to us—in the main malaria, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, waist and joint pains. Some of them had indeed been ‘hiding’ their diseases, which had reached advanced clinical stages. Since they did not have the means to do so, we had to dip deep into our pockets to donate the money they needed to attend hospital.
Before that experience, I had already harboured the idea of establishing a hospital in that area to cater for the poor and needy. The fresh encounter with the medical needs of the villagers brought the urgency of the need for such a facility even closer home to me.
On my return to Germany, I put my concept of the CHRIST THE KING HOSPITAL on paper and launched an appeal for funds towards the realisation of my goal. Though the response was encouraging, the money raised was miles away from what was needed, leading me, at least in the interim, to bury my plan in the sand.
More than twenty years on, I am still carrying my cherished vision of a hospital that will serve not only the wealthy in society, but those who are so impoverished that they are unable to pay for their treatment. That is part of the reason why I have over the last several weeks spent long hours, sometimes deep into the night, to recount and put to paper the experiences I had growing up under the conditions prevailing in my beloved village. In this way my hope is that the whole world will know how hard it is for residents there to make ends meet, and to have some idea of their daily struggle to survive.
If, by the grace of Almighty God, the resulting book , GROWING UP IN A SMALL AFRICAN VILLAGE ,contributes to the realisation of my vision of the CHRIST THE KING HOSPITAL, I will not claim the honour to be mine but rather give the glory to our Lord who gave me the strength and wisdom to write in the first place.
If you wish to donate money to help in the realisation of the Christ the King Hospital project, you may do so by clicking on Ministry Support. If you prefer to make a donation by cheque (payable to “Christ the King Hospital Project”), please use the address on the website.