Dr Abdulai receives 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice

The United States Embassy in Accra on Thursday awarded Dr David Fuseini Abdulai, Founder of Shekhinah Clinic at Gurugu in the Tamale Metroplis of the Northern Region with the 2012 Martin Luther King Junior Award for Peace and social Justice.

The award is in recognition of his unwavering commitment to the poorest and the most vulnerable citizens at Tamale.

Mr Donald Teitelbaum, United States Ambassador to Ghana, presenting a plaque to Dr Abdulai, described him as a Ghanaian who personified the philosophy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and had contributed a lot to his community in terms of supporting the vulnerable.

“People should be judged by the content of their characters rather than the colour of their skin,” Dr Teitelbaum said, reminding the audience that Dr Luther King Jr. fought for equality for the minority group.

He noted that recognising someone right did not necessarily mean that we agreed with the person and added that in the case of Dr Abdulai his actions spoke louder than any words could describe.

Dr David Fuseini Abdulai founded the Shekhinah Clinic in 1989 to provide free medical treatment and other services to the poorest citizens of Tamale.

In 1999, he established a second clinic at Wamale in Southern Tamale. In addition, he started a programme dubbed “Meals on Wheels” where he provided daily lunch to an average of 150 destitutes and mentally ill people within Tamale Metropolis covering about 65-kilometre radius.

The two clinics served an average of 120 people daily and provided medical services and consultations to prisoners in Tamale Central Prison and those living in the Nkanchina Leper colony.

Dr Abdulai,  in a brief statement acknowledged the support of people who had contributed to his life in diverse ways.

“I am the only survivor of 11 children who all died out of poverty related diseases,” he said, and noted that “I have received several scholarships and the kindness of various benefactors that made it possible for me to go through Senior High School and subsequently the medical school.

Dr Abdulai therefore described his action as a way to give back to his community and the society at large.

He said the project started during the era of the “cash and carry system” where people needed to pay before receiving medical services.

“I could not look on to see people die just because of poverty so I stopped taking any salary and challenged God to help me bring health to people.”

Dr Abdulai said he performed his first surgery on a mentally ill man who was suffering from “hernia” and performed a second operation on a woman who had a tumor on her nose, under a mango tree and they all survived.

“Now with strengthened faith I started the clinics,” he said, attributing his success to divine providence.

Dr Abdulai who said he was not used to talking before such august crowd and his wife Marian who also works at the clinic, expressed appreciation to the US Embassy in Accra and ultimately to God for such recognition.

The US Embassy since 2008 has presented the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice to Ghanaians who best personify the philosophy and actions of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr King, the 1964 Nobel Peace Laureate, played a pivotal role in the African-American civil rights movements in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

The award is to recognise a Ghanaian who in the same spirit as Dr. King, is helping to build a culture of peacemaking, dialogue and conflict resolution while promoting respect for human rights and peace in the communities where he/she lives and works.

Previous recipients are Bishop Vincent Boi Nii and Alhaji Al-Hussein Zakaria for their efforts to promote peace and social justice (2008), Mrs  Angela Dwamena-Aboagye for assisting abused women and children (2009), Mrs  Janet Adama Mohammad for her work in peace building to address local and regional conflicts (2010) and George Achibra for rescuing trafficked children working in the fishing industry in Lake Volta (2011).

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.