Ectopic pregnancy: Mediocre research from KNUST

KNUST 1a File photo

Wed, 4 Mar 2020 Source: Isaac Ato Mensah

There have been many times in ghana when other professionals have rightly accused journalists of a lack of simple comprehension of the facts.

This, therefore, calls for a constant watch on our public discourse by all and sundry.

It is a tough assignment since every single day all kinds of factual errors and unenlightened thoughts and ideas are bandied about in our ghanaian public space.

Worst of all, these are often written up and lodged on the Internet proving disgraceful and dishonourable to the country as a whole.

Policing and exposing these terrible ideas is almost a thankless full-time job.

But it must be done!

One such terrible example is the mediocre research on ectopic pregnancy by Prof Baafuor Kofi Opoku and its subsequent reportage by myjoyonline.com on 17 September, 2019.

First of all, how did the odious idea of conducting research on ectopic pregnancy based on skin colour of women pass ethical scrutiny at the KNUST?

What is Opoku’s definition of “fair” women?

What are his criteria and why?

Does his methodology make sense?

Is his conclusion tenable?

Certainly not by any stretch of the imagination.

Is it proper to publish your scientific research on a news site before it has gone through peer review and been published in a scientific journal?

Was that not the same problem with the vexed research studies on judges and later on performance of MPs by the Political Science Department at University of Ghana, Legon?

Clearly, we have become a country of low standards; we are fast becoming a country of cognitive midgets and functional illiterates.

Surely, our middle class needs to sit up.

They must stop listening to those unhelpful four-hour morning shows and drive time shows in their SUVs and idolising such content to their children.

Our media houses should get a crack team of editors especially including outside expertise to help them serve their audience and readers well.

Unfortunately, when just three years ago, a marketing guru was contacted to facilitate an editorial role for this same myjoyonline.com on account of obvious flaws in reportage, he replied, “You are not up to Joy FM standard”.

All these observations prove that Prof Chris Gordon’s recent remarks at the AA Kwapong Memorial lectures are even more problematic.

He is a retired director of the Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) at the University of Ghana, Legon.

The professor suddenly seems to have had an epiphany after participating for over 20 years in a system that tolerated a mediocrity that is now so evident round and about us.

During that time, he maintained a studious silence even as contemporary lecturers are doing now while standards continue to deteriorate rapidly.

Is that not so? Why has Opoku’s report not been commented on in five months?

Today Prof Gordon lectures us that the system that heaped accolades on him, is not fit for purpose and he proceeds to say “those of us in our 60s have failed the country”.

Really? Oh, no you don’t, for, frankly not all 60 year olds have been feeding at the trough and gaming the system.

Even at this late hour, he is still incapable of marshalling the facts and evidence that must include his own culpability and the exoneration of others such as my mentor and many other knowledgeable, honest and principled individuals.

For the record, let the Prof. Opokus, Gordons and many others that we have called to order in our posts know that we shall not be subservient or quiet.

We do not subscribe to the ghanaian “congenital sycophancy” clearly delineated by Prof. J.E. Wiredu almost 50 years ago…..not even at the risk of losing our day jobs.

We reject categorically, Opoku’s research on ectopic pregnancy at KNUST.

We expect that those who hired, pay and monitor him will ensure that he atones for his gross error.

Or is that also a bridge too far in this charade called ghana?

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Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah