Dr. Thomas Baah’s Story
As a child, Dr. Baah attended a village school. During his first three years of schooling, he sat under a tree for his education because there was no school building in the village of Tumu. He walked barefoot to school until he passed the Common Entrance Examinations at the age of fourteen.
When he was in class six and about twelve years old, Dr. Baah’s sister died of measles. His mother brought his sister from their village in Tumu where they lived with an aunt to the nearest doctor in Jirapa and in Bolgatanga, along bumpy roads. Dr. Baah says that he still remembers the day that his sister died. “She would look up at me wanting to smile, but she was too ill to do anything.” His mother obtained some tablets from Catholic nuns. At home, she crushed and mixed them with water for her to drink. Not long afterwards, his sister died. This was Dr. Baah’s first experience with the death of a close relative. He says that he was devastated by the tragedy, and decided then to become a doctor. However, he said that becoming a doctor seemed like a joke at the time, a “wishful and fanciful childhood dream.”
When he was in Upper Sixth Form in GSTS, Takoradi, Dr. Baah fell ill during the first term and had to be taken back to his village near Tumu in the Upper West Region of Ghana. He wasn’t able to attend school during that year. However, he returned to school to write the Advanced Level examinations and passed with good grades in 1981. He then applied to medical school but failed to attend an interview for admission into medical school through no fault of his own. Communication was difficult. A traveller arrived in Tumu with an old newspaper from Kumasi. Someone who knew Dr. Baah saw his name among the list of students invited for a medical school interview. This friend came to show Dr. Baah the paper, but the interview date had passed. Dr. Baah decided to go to the medical school several weeks after the interview to find out if he could still be considered for admission. Professor Eldryd H.O. Parry, who was the Dean at the medical school, admitted Dr. Baah into the medical school after a short interview. Against many overwhelming odds, Dr. Baah was able to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor.