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Sunday, 28 September 2014

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRO-GHANAIAN " CHARLES ODAMTTEN EASMON " WAS A DOCTOR OF SIERRA LEONEAN CREOLE AND IRISH DESCENT HE WAS THE FIRST GHANAIAN TO QUALIFY AS A SURGEON : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK HEROES "

                                                                                                                                                                                          Charles Odamtten Easmon


Charles Odamtten Easmon
C.O. Easmon.jpg
Charles Odamtten Easmon
BornCharles Odamtten Easmon
22 September 1913
Adawso, Ghana
Died19 May 1994
AccraGhana
NationalityBritish SubjectGhanaian
Other namesCharlie, C.O.
EducationAchimota SchoolEdinburgh University
OccupationMedical doctor
Years active1946-1993
Known forFirst Ghanaian surgeon, Medical education
Spouse(s)Mrs. Genevieve Easmon
ChildrenKathleen Easmon, Charlie Easmon[1]
Charles Odamtten Easmon or C.O. Easmon, popularly known as Charlie EasmonF.R.C.S. (22 September 1913 – 19 May 1994) was a Ghanaian doctor of Sierra Leone Creole and Irish descent. Easmon was the first Ghanaian to qualify as a surgeon specialist[2]and the first African dean of the University of Ghana Medical School.

Family and background

Charles "Charlie" Odamtten Easmon was born on 22 September 1913, in Adawso[3] in the Gold Coast, to Kate Odamtten and Victor Farrell Easmon. Victor Easmon was an accountant and the son of Dr. John Farrell Easmon and Carolyn Augustt, a descendant of the Richter family from Osu, Accra. Dr. J. F. Easmon was a Sierra Leonean of African American and Irish descent; J.F. Easmon was also the first West African Chief Medical Officer. Carolyn Augustt, who was described as a "mulatress", was a mixed-race descendant of aGa-Danish family. Carolyn Augustt was from Osu Trom Mom in Accra.
Victor Easmon died in Jos, Nigeria, and Odamtten Easmon was raised by his mother, although he still kept close personal ties with the Easmon family in Sierra Leone. Easmon's mother, Kate, was from a prominent Osu family and his uncle Solomon Odamtten was active in national politics.

Education and early career

Charles Odamtten "Charlie" Easmon attended the prestigious Achimota School alongside future Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah. While at school, Easmon was known for his drawings, and his teachers believed he would become an artist. A gifted athlete and a member of the Student Christian Movement while at Achimota School, Easmon on completing his secondary education attended the Medical School of Edinburgh University. He was the first Ghanaian member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh following the completion of his medical course. Upon his return to the Gold Coast, Easmon worked at Korle Bu Hospital in Accra, and was eventually put in charge of the hospital. In 1946, he married Genevieve Dove, the daughter of Sierra Leonean lawyer, Francis "Frans" Dove. In June 1959, Easmon left Ghana for the United States for five-month fellowship offered by the State Department in order to create understanding between Ghana and the United States.

Accomplishments

Professor Charles Odamtten Easmon achieved a number of firsts in his lifetime. To name a few, he was the first Ghanaian to qualify as a surgeon;[4] the first Ghanaian to obtain a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh; the first Ghanaian to obtain a Fellowship of a College in any branch of medicine; the first Ghanaian to be appointed Surgical Specialist; the first Ghanaian to be appointed Chief Surgeon of Ghana; the first Ghanaian to be appointed Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health; the first president of the Ghana Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health; the first President of the Ghana Medical Association; the first Dean of the Ghana Medical School;[4] the first Professor of Surgery of the University of Ghana Medical School; the first Ghanaian to be president of the West African College of Surgeons; the first Ghanaian to be elected a Fellow of the International College of Surgeons; the first Chairman of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council; the first Chairman of the Council for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine.

Appointment as Chief Medical Officer

In 1964, Kwame Nkrumah appointed Easmon as the first Chief Medical Officer of Ghana.

Later years

Professor Charles Odamttten Easmon retired entirely from his medical profession in July 1993. Easmon died on 19 May 1994, at the age of 80. He was survived by his wife, Genevieve, and his children - Linda Nkendrim (Nee Easmon), Kathleen and Charles Easmon, Charlotte Holdbrook (Nee Easmon), Dr. Johnnie Easmon and Susan Easmon.

College of Health Sciences

The College of Health Sciences dedicated its building to the memory of Easmon in 2012.[5] The University of Ghana Medical School also presents the Charles Easmon Prize in Surgery to the best medical student in surgery.[6]