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General News Tue, 8 Jul 2008

Suicide doctor invited colleague shortly before hanging

Dr. Hayford De-Graft Yankah, a 55-year-old Ghanaian urologist with 30 years' practical experience in the USA, hanged himself in his Adjiriganno home, near Accra at the weekend, leaving behind a hand-written will and a note to the effect that he had failed to reconcile with life.

Family sources disclosed to the Daily Graphic yesterday that moments before hanging himself in that grisly circumstance, Dr Yankah had called a close friend on the phone and invited him to come to his house.

They said the friend received the call about 9.00 a.m. and set off for Dr Yankah's house, but while he was on his way, Dr Yankah called him again at 9.30 a.m. to find out where he had reached.

According to the sources, the friend replied that he was close to the house and eventually got there about 10.00 a.m., by which time Dr Yankah had asked his house boy to stand at the gate and open the gate for his friend to come in.

They said when the friend drove in, the main entrance to Dr. Yankah’s hall was locked up and several knocks at the door, including calls to his phone for him to open the door, did not yield any results.

The door was later forced open by the friend, who was greeted with the shocking spectacle of Dr. Yankah’s body hanging on a computer cable wire tied around his neck.

The sources said Dr Yankah's wife returned from the US about a month ago but did not live in the same house with her husband.

Although Dr Yankah left behind a hand-written will, details of it were not disclosed to the Daily Graphic.

Dr Yankah graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Ghana Medical School in 1978 and travelled to the US to further his studies in medical practice.

While in the US, he lived at 101 Park Place, Alabama, and was affiliated to the Vaughan Regional Medical Centre. But he relocated to Ghana in February last year to work at the 37 Military Hospital.

When the Commanding Officer of the 37 Military Hospital, Brigadier-General Jaswant Mante Wadhwani, was contacted, he said he had been informed about the tragedy last Saturday by one of his officers at the hospital.

He said Dr Yankah was a urologist who acquired his specialist training in the US between 1992 and 1996 and had been in practice abroad.

He said the deceased applied to join the Military Hospital as a civilian specialist doctor in February 2007.

Brig-Gen Wadhwani said Dr Yankah passed an interview conducted according to the hospital's regulations and was appointed Specialist Urologist at the Department of Surgery.

He said in August 2007, the deceased tendered in his resignation and cited personal reasons for his action.

The Commanding Officer said he gathered that Dr Yankah was offered a job in Cape Coast and later worked at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital as a urologist.

He said while the deceased was at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, he had gone to him (Brig-Gen Wadhwani) and expressed interest in going back to the 37 Military Hospital.

Brig-Gen Wadhwani said the hospital wanted more urologists so he readily accepted him.

He said he asked Dr Yankah to re-apply, which he did, and it was processed through the Military High Command, after which he was given back his job.

He said Dr Yankah worked very well, leading to his confirmation about six weeks ago, adding that the deceased has been due to travel shortly to Egypt for a urologists conference.

Brig-Gen Wadhwani described Dr Yankah as a fine gentleman.

Source: Daily Graphic