Akufo-Addo
Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Thursday, said Professor Frederick Torgbor Sai, a former Presidential Advisor on HIV/AIDS, served the nation to his final days with forthright advice, admirable dedication and distinct accomplishments.

Reading his tribute at the burial service held at the Osu Eben-Ezer Presbyterian Church in Accra, on Thursday, the President said: “It is not often that it can be said of someone that he or she has finished his or her life’s work and with distinction.

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“But we can certainly say that about the man we are gathered here to celebrate – Medical doctor, advocate, international campaigner, mentor, statesman and trailblazer – Fredrick Torgbor Sai accomplished all he set out to do and with aplomb”.

President Akufo-Addo said his sterling qualities helped to change public attitude towards pandemic of AIDS in Ghana.

“He never left you in any doubt about where he stood on any subject, and he would not necessarily be on the popular side.

“It has been my great privilege to have known Prof. Sai for much of my life. It was easy to admire him, as he took on unpopular and difficult causes and turned them into worldwide accepted norms.

“Throughout his long and eventful life, it was always a certainty that he would tell it as it is….I am grateful that he continued to give me his trenchant opinions”.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Speaker of Parliament Mike Ocquaye, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Former President Jerry John Rawlings, with his wife Nana Konadu, and First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, were among the large number of mourners who turned up to bid the medical giant an eternal farewell.

Prof Sai, who also served at the Department of Community Health in the University of Ghana Medical School, died at 95 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

Many tributes extolled Prof. Sai’s work as an advocate for women’s rights, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, and more.

They include those from the Ministry of Health, National Population Council, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, and the United Nations Population Fund.

Others were from the Reduction of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Consortium, the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning, and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Reverend Nii Teiko Dagadu, the Osu District Minister of the Presbyterian Church, in his sermon, advised Christians against being judgmental, saying they could be worse sinners than those they sought to chastise.

They should, however, be steadfast in their faith in Christ as the son who reconciled them with God.

Mrs Florence Sai, the widow to Prof. Sai said in her tribute: “The lives you touched and the successes you chalked, and even the things you counted as failures have all added up to an amazing life.
“There is nothing about our incomparable journey together that I would want to change”.

The UGMS said Prof. Sai continued to support the work of the Department through provision of vehicles for field work, books and research grants after he retired.

“He practicalised the concept of Evidence-based Medicine through the establishment of the International Research Project-The Danfa Project, from 1969-1977 through which many doctors were trained,” the UGMS’ Department of Community Health said.

The Ministry of Health also commended his contribution to the development of a Nutritional Policy by the National Food and Nutritional Board, when he was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, among other positions.

The significant role he played in the development of the first post-Independence “10-year Comprehensive Health Plan for Ghana with Dr David Brachott, the then Israeli Chief Planning Expert, was also highlighted.

“The Ministry appreciates your good works and contribution to the development of health services and medical education in the country. We say thank you,” the tribute said.
Prof Sai’s was given a private burial after the service.

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