A year ago, on Good Friday 2020, we lost a beloved family member to COVID-19.
“The Cedar tree that gives us shade and pride in this life is down. The fence that surrounds us and put us together has broken. Oh death, you have done your worse this time”. Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, affectionately called P.K., Paa Kwamena, Paapa or Paa was born at Winneba on Saturday July 27, 1957 to Mr. John Plange-Rhule, an educationist and Madam Joana Aihoon all of blessed memory. PK lost his father at the tender age of two. He started formal education at the Abasraba Nursery, and continued to the Methodist Primary School, all in Winneba. Not long after that, his late brother, William Paa Kwesi Plange Rhule and his wife Mrs. Caroline Plange Rhule took custody of him. He thus continued his elementary education at the South Mamprobi 3 Local Council School, Kaneshie 5 Local Council School and Kaneshie 7 Local Council School, where he sat for the Common Entrance Examination and passed with flying colours. PK proceeded to Accra Academy for his secondary education in 1970. He passed his ‘O’ Level Exams and was readmitted at the same institution for his ‘A’ Level, which he successfully completed in 1976. PK continued to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology in 1981 and an MB ChB in 1984. From 1987 to 1991, Professor Plange-Rhule studied at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and was awarded a PhD in Physiology. Soon after his study overseas, he returned home and was appointed a lecturer at the Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, KNUST from 1992 to 2000. He became a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the same department between 2000 to 2008. He taught Renal Physiology, Respiratory Physiology, Veterinary Medicine, Gastrointestinal Physiology, among other courses. He also served as Head of Department at the School of Medical Sciences from October 2001 to September 2009, and also from 2011 to 2014. Prof. Plange-Rhule served in various capacities and on numerous associations and boards: He was the Vice-President, Ghana Medical Association from December 1999 to December 2001, Member, National Task Force for Establishment of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2001; President of the Ghana Medical Association from 2001 to 2003, Member, Ghana Aids Commission from 2001 to 2003; Member of Ghana Prisons Service Council, from 2006 to 2015; Member, Board of Trustees Ghana Medical Association Pension Fund from 2002 to 2004 and 2006 to 2009; Chairman, Board of Trustees Ghana Medical Association Pension Fund from 2009 to 2016; Member, Board of Directors, MTN Ghana Foundation from 2007 5ll his demise; President, Ghana Kidney Association, 2014 till his demise; Member, Council of Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. 2015 till his demise, Vice Rector, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2011 to 2015, Rector, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2015 till his demise. Prof. Jacob Plange-Rhule was also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London; Fellow of the Ghana College of Physicians (FGCP), Ghana Postgraduate Medical College, 2011, Fellow of West African College of Physicians (FWACP) and of the West African Postgraduate Medical College in 2007. In addition, he served as an External Examiner in several Universities in Ghana including the University of Development Studies, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Medicine; University of Ghana, School of Graduate Studies; University of Ghana, School of Medicine and Dentistry (University of Ghana Medical School) Department of Medicine; University of Cape Coast, School of Medical Sciences, Department of Physiology; Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana MSc Dietetics Programme; University of Development Studies, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Physiology. Prof. Plange-Rhule was an Inspector of Medical and Dental Training Institutions for the National Accreditation Board from 2013 till his death and an Inspector of Medical and Dental Training Institutions for the Ghana Medical and Dental Council 2013 till he passed. Internationally, Prof. Plange-Rhule was a Temporary Advisor to the “Forum on Reducing Salt Intake in Populations”, World Health Organisation (WHO), Paris in 2006; A Manuscript Reviewer for the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research in October 2016 and Global Heart, Journal of the World Heart Federation in April 2016. He was also an Honorary Senior Lecturer, Division of Clinical Sciences, St George’s, University of London. 2001 to date just to mention a few. He got married to his beautiful wife Dr. Gyikua Plange-Rhule in 1987 and the marriage was blessed with three lovely daughters. Paa Kwamena was gentle, humble, kind hearted, loveable and a peace maker. He executed whatever was entrusted to him diligently. He always believed that if something has to be done, it must be perfectly done. He was somebody who always remained calm even when there was a crises. His slogan was ‘Obeyeyie’. He was so caring and exceptionally helpful. Paa Kwamena was the eye of the family, his demise is a big blow to the family. The vacuum he has created is so deep and the pain his death has caused is unbearable. Prof. Plange-Rhule joined his maker on April 10, 2020 after a short illness. He left behind his wife Gyikua, three daughters Kwegyiwa, Ama Adoma and Araba, six sisters, a number of nephews and nieces, cousins and aunties. Paa Kwamena, Damirifa Due. Professor Jacob Plange- Rhule, rest in the bosom of your maker till we meet again. AMEN!!!