Profile: Dr. Addo Yobo, one of Ghana's
Audrey Micah, Ghanadot
July 22, 3009
primer on female health
Dr. Clarence Addo Yobo, a veteran
gynecologist who has had a long practice in the
United States for over 45 years has now returned
Dr. Addo Yobo was born in Ghana in a village
called Amanase, near Suhum; delivery was by his
late maternal grandmother called Ohenewa who
was a village midwife practicing the traditional
Midwife, Ohenewa, the
grandmother, skillfully delivered on that day
twins, one girl and a boy who happened to be our
doctor Addo Yobo.
As a village boy, he dreamed
of becoming a successful doctor. With that dream
in mind, Dr. Addo Yobo persevered through his
education - from a village Presbyterian school
at his hometown Obosomase, in the Akwapim Hills, and later to Accra High School
and then to St. Augustine, at Cape Coast, to complete
his Sixth Form education.
His childhood ambition to become a medical
doctor was realized or at least put in high gear
when the then President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame
Nkrumah, gave him and a few others scholarships
to study in Egypt.
While in his final year at the medical school in
Egypt, Dr. Addo Yobo, once again, because of his
excellent academic credentials, became a
recipient of Fulbright exchange program, the
scholarship of which allowed him to work in the United States of
America (USA) on a residency program in
obstetrics and gynecology.
Upon completion in the US, Dr.
Addo Yobo went back to Egypt to complete his
In 1967, Dr. Addo Yobo returned to Ghana as a
full medical officer at Korle Bu. For one
and half years he worked in Ghana before
departing for the United States again.
In the United States of America, Dr. Addo Yobo
landed a job after a rigorous professional exam.
Dr. Addo Yobo did his specialty
training in obstetrics and gynecology at
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia
University, at Harlem Hospital, and completed the
required four years residency program in 1972.
passed the specialty (Part One) in July the same
year. After the 18 months requirement,
he wrote and passed the Part Two of the
specialty exams and became a Board Certified
His favorite quotation is by President Kennedy:
“Think not what your country can do for you, but
what you can do for your country."
That quotation would compel him
to come back again to Ghana in 1981 when he
joined the Nyaho Clinic. Unfortunately, a
coup happened and he found it difficult to
endure the unfriendly atmosphere that resulted.
In 1983, Dr. Addo Yobo was back
in the States.
“One day a hospital in the US was
closing down and was giving out everything in
the hospital for free provided it goes to a
third world country. I applied and was approved,
so I flew back home and went to the Ministry of
Health with what I thought was good news.
“I met the late Dr. Larson and after telling
him the opportunity that I had come upon, he told me to come and
see him on the following Friday.
"On that Friday, I went back to
see him only to learn that the big guys said the
beds had most likely been used by HIV patients
and that the beds were intended to be dumped on the
people of Ghana.
"The excuse was something I found
ridiculous because the HIV virus could not survive
under dry condition.
"The entire package of hospital
equipment was rejected on the basis of a spurious scientific
reason. I learned that the
equipment that could have come to Ghana was
quickly embraced, whole heartedly, by Cambodia."
Dr. Addo Yobo left after ten
days in Ghana heart broken for the silly
decision that was taken on behalf of
"health care" in Ghana.
When asked about the state of Ghana’s health
sector, Dr. Addo Yobo said more health personnel
were needed to ensure better health care.
“It is ridiculous to think that the whole of
Ghana has only 1.500 doctors and yet there are 4.200
Ghanaian doctors in USA as of 2008.
Nigeria and India contribute to the American
health system 14,000
and 42,000 doctors, respectively.
"The merit for the India part is
that a significant number of these doctors
return home to add quality to their health care.
The same cannot be said for Ghana and Nigeria.
“We must ask, what we can do to entice some of these
doctors back home to brighten the health care
profession? This is not
the time to create problems for them but time to
give them the chance to help.”
Dr, Addo Yobo is a family man with a wife
and six children. He is currently married to
Dedei Leha Addo Yobo who also believes strongly
that charity must begin at home - a concept which
her husband subscribes to.
The street lights at Obosomase
were donated, equipment and erection included,
by Dr Addo Yobo.
At East Legon Police Station, Dr
Addo Yobo found the station in need of certain
items and amenities and donated them - tables, chairs, water
reservoir tank, and four new bicycles to help
mobility of the force. He was also able to
persuade a friend, Dr. Boakye-Agyei of the US,
to donate a reconditioned Jeep Cherokee vehicle
for the station's use.
Dr. Addo Yobo noted that it was about time
the younger generation were encouraged to come in
with new ideas to help save more lives. For him, the health sector in
Ghana needs more indoctrination if the country
were to hope to improve upon the health sector.
And those already here in the profession in
Ghana should welcome them with open arms.
Though in his low seventies now, Dr. Addo is
still very active treating people and offering
advice to his patients. He uses his spare time
to write primers on female health issues.
from Dr. Addo Yebo primer