Dear Jacob, Late on Good Friday I was told of your untimely demise. I just could not believe it. There were some conflicting details but suffice to say it was covid-related and you were gone.
We worked together for more than three years in the Department of Physiology at SMS at KNUST (then UST) in the latter part of the 1990s. You were often at the hospital so I didn’t see you all that much. I returned to Australia and continued with study and work as an academic (University of Queensland, Brisbane).
I found myself in Ghana in 2018 via a sabbatical at Imperial College London. I met you again after about 20 years at the National Health Summit. I was thrilled with your reaction of a big smile and hug. The following week you hosted me at the +233 Jazz club in Accra. The conversation – and the kebabs – were fabulous! I realised you were now a seriously BMOC (big man on campus) and was mightily impressed by your positions (GMA, GCPS) over the years plus your regal golfing partner! +233 remains a favourite place in Accra. On each visit to Accra you made time to meet and then we started working together on a research project in one of your main areas of interest – hypertension. I really valued your input but I admit it was sometimes hard to get your time. I now realise just how many other people wanted a slice of your time. I thoroughly enjoyed our meetings (always one of the highlights of my trips to Ghana) and your gentle way, wry humour, generosity, and humble attitude. I was delighted to see you twice in January at the College.
Jacob, I am proud to call you a colleague and a friend. I am very sorry that I will no longer see you in Accra. I join a long list of very sad people who mourn your loss. You are an inspiration and will live on in our hearts. I give my heartfelt condolences to the family as they navigate this new journey without you. Nante yie.