Former President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang have described the late Dr. Mrs. Mary Grant as a formidable woman who never turned away from hard work.
They said Dr. Grant would greatly be missed because she had great ideas on the development of Ghana and touched many lives.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the family of Dr. Grant, who passed away on September 18, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings said Dr. Grant’s “impatience” and strong desire to get things done was the major motivating factor, which encouraged President Rawlings to want to work with her.
The former First Lady said Dr. Grant had interests in health, sanitation and drainage issues and was always pushing to get such projects implemented.
The late Dr. Mary Grant was a former member of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC); and former member of the Council of State.
She passed away at age of 88 at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. She left behind two of her own children, and four adopted ones. President John Dramani tweeted about her death, describing her as a “great woman of our modern era.”
Dr. Mrs. Mary Grant was appointed in 1989 among the last batch of PNDC members until the PNDC was dissolved on the 7th of January 1993. She was in charge of general affairs.
While with the PNDC, Dr. Grant held many positions including a Deputy Minister of Health, and later became the Minister of Education and Culture and also a Member of Council of State.
She was until her death considered as one of the people who later fell out with Mr. Rawlings.
In 2012, she was awarded at the Ghana Women Awards, the premier awards ceremony aimed at celebrating the success of women of excellence in various facets of the society. Her award was presented to her by Mr. Rawlings.
Dr. Mary Grant is a sister to the late Paa Grant, a merchant and politician in the Gold Coast, who has been called “the father of Gold Coast politics”. Paa Grant, a political activist, was a founder and the first president of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947, with the goal of achieving self-government.
Dr. Grant, an old student of Wesley Girls, is the first Wesley Girls High School Alumni to be a medical doctor. She has led Ghana’s delegation to several international conferences such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) General Assemblies in Geneva, World Bank Meeting in Africa Health,WHO Regional Conferences in Africa, Cairo Conference on Population and Development among others. She was among Ghana’s delegation to the Beijing Conference on Women’s Rights.
At the 39th Annual General Conference in 1997, the Ghana Medical Association awarded her a Certificate of Honour for her concern for welfare of doctors. As a medical practitioner, she had been critical of health workers who embark on strikes at the expense of human lives. In May 2007, she told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), that health workers must see themselves as members of a health brigade with the sole mission of saving lives but never as death squads.
“The health profession is different from all others, since it deals with diseases and health, life and death. Therefore, anyone who does not feel strongly that what he/she has to do is to help people recover from illnesses and to prevent people from dying unnecessarily must not enter the health service.
At all times health workers must place the love and affection for the patient above their self-interest”, Dr Mary Grant said in the interview. She was however concerned about the poor remuneration for medical practitioners at the time, and chastised successive governments for lacking the will to deal decisively with the problem.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana