TRIBUTE TO PROF JACOB PLANGE-RHULE FROM PHYSIOLOGY RESEARCH TEAM AND COLLABORATORS
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”
By : Horatio Gates Spafford (1873)
A prolific physician, researcher, a leader, teacher, mentor, and community advocate adept at all things non-communicable diseases and Ghana health care systems, too. Back when taking on these roles also meant being of service at the highest echelon of health care in Ghana, Prof. Jacob Plange-Rhule was towering and fearless. You were an exceptional leader of a great team of researchers and research assistants in the Physiology department, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana. Your International collaborators (Drs. Amy, Lara, Terrence, Gbenga, Juliet, Joyce, Eastwood, etc) from University of Chicago, New York University Langone Health, and Saint Louis University greatly respected your knowledge and wisdom on how to effectively navigate the Ghana health care system. Dashing and charismatic, you were not only a research partner but a friend who gave all you had to make our stay in Ghana very memorable. Not only that, you were impeccable with delivering on what we had to achieve during our visits on project/ research-related matters. Your hospitality and sense of care for us, your collaborators, was invigorating and outstanding. Still at the height of your long successful career as a physician scientist, your passing indeed will create a great void in our partnership but we know that the exceptional teams that you have built can handle the fort and continue your legacy as an outstanding research collaborator. We will forever miss your prominent contribution to research worldwide especially in the field of non-communicable diseases. The depths of your legacy and profound contribution to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Ghana will live on, even in your absence.
Prof, the research coordination team you have built in Ghana is remarkable. Your coordinators (Michael, Kezia, Kingsley, Solomon, Kwame, and many others) have grown overtime to become a big family and you were our Boss and our Dad. Learning under your management skills has been of emmence benefit to all of us. You motivated us to aspire to higher levels in everything we did especially in research. You were a noble role model for us in leadership and research management. You taught us hard-life lessons including but not limited to; not being spendthrift, saving for the future and avoiding certain behaviors that would get us into unnecessary troubles. Your tutelage was profound and we are proud of where we are because you held our hands through it all. Today, is a day we had never ever in our wildest imagination thought of giving this tribute. We accept the challenge that you have given to us, that your research legacy will never be lost. We shall make you proud wherever we find ourselves. Even in your death we have learn a big lesson that ‘As the sand runs through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives’ author unknown. Your life here on earth has thought us that we ought to make an impact in our generation as long as we live. This we believe that you did even with your very last breadth, you served humanity with your life.
God be with you till we meet again. May you rest in eternal peace Prof.
Compiled by Michael, Kezia, Kingsley and Joyce