Ghana’s oldest living medical practitioner, Dr Emmanuel Evans-Anfom, has died aged 101, his family announced on Wednesday (7 April 2021).
One of his sons, Nii Teiko Evans-Anfom, took to Facebook to announce the death:
Dr Evans-Anfom was appointed as a vice-chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 1967 and chaired many national medical committees and boards.
He is credited as being the originator of matriculation events at universities, which he introduced during his tenure at KNUST.
The celebrated surgeon, who was born on 7 October 1919, left behind four children.
Evans-Anfom, FGA, OSG served as the second vice-chancellor of KNUST from 1967 to 1973.
Early life and education
Dr Evans-Anfom’s mother, Mary Evans, was the daughter of William Timothy Evans, a teacher-catechist with the Basel Mission Middle School (or Salem School) in Osu. The Evans family was a well-known Euro-African Ga family on the Gold Coast. In 1925, he enrolled at the Government Boys’ School in James Town, Accra.
He attended the Presbyterian middle boarding Salem School, where the then principal, Carl Henry Clerk, encouraged him to apply for a Cadbury Scholarship to study at Achimota School (then Prince of Wales College), instead of taking the normal teacher-training route through the Basel Mission-founded Presbyterian teacher training seminary in Akropong, now known as the Presbyterian College of Education, Akropong.
He was elected school prefect at Achimota. In January 1939 he enrolled in the inter-preliminary medical science course at the school. Under that course, he received advanced training in physics, chemistry, botany and zoology.
At Prince of Wales College, in 1941, he won a Gold Coast medical scholarship to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1947. He also took a postgraduate diploma course in tropical medicine and health (DTM&H), completing this in 1950.
Medical career and professorship
Evans-Anfom worked at various hospitals in the government medical system: Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dunkwa-on-Offin Government Hospital, Tarkwa Government Hospital, Kumasi Central Hospital, Tamale Government Hospital and Effia Nkwanta Hospital in Sekondi.
A pioneering medical educator in his own right, he was approached in 1963 by the first Ghanaian surgeon, Charles Odamtten Easmon, to take up a teaching professorship at the then newly established University of Ghana Medical School. He he eventually accepted the offer. He also carried out medical outreach in the Congo in the 1960s.
In 1996, Evans-Anfom was adjudged Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater the University of Edinburgh for “his major contribution to the development of medicine in the Congo and to medical education in Ghana”. In 1958, Evans-Anfom co-founded the Ghana Medical Association together with Charles Easmon, Silas Dodu, Anum Barnor and J A Schandorf.
Awards and honours
- 1934: Listed on the honour board of Salem School, Osu
- 1968: Elected president of the Ghana Medical Association
- 1971: Elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 1974: Honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Hon DSc), University of Salford
- 1996: Honorary doctorate degree in literature (Hon DLitt) by the Akrofi Christaller Institute, Akropong Akuapem
- 1983-98: Chairman of the Inter-Church and Ecumenical Relations Committee of Ghana
- 2003: Awarded honorary Doctor of Science degree (DSc) by KNUST
- 2006: Decorated with the Order of the Star of Ghana