Popular Ghanaian veteran dentist and Chairman of Afriwave Telecoms, Dr. Francis Apiagyei Poku has died at age 83.
Dr. Francis Apiagyei Poku, affectionately known as Dentist Poku, was born to Mr. John Wellington and Mad Grace Bandoh on 22nd October, 1936 both of blessed memory.
He was born 83 years ago in Kumasi and had his Secondary Education at Mfantsipim Secondary School from 1951 – 1955.
He was one of the founding students who were admitted to form one on the re-establishment of form one in Mfantsipim in 1951.
While at school, he was a member of the school’s football team as well as the hockey team which in 1954 defeated all schools in Ghana. He also played cricket for Sarbah House and was also the champion junior hurdler when in form 3.
Dr. Francis Poku left Mfantsipim School in 1955 after ‘O’ levels. He then entered the world of work as a pupil teacher at the Methodist Primary School in Kumasi in 1956.
He proceeded to Britain in the latter part of 1956 and entered Woolwich Polytechnic in London in 1957 to pursue a pre-medical course.
In 1960, he was admitted at Bristol University to undertake a course in dentistry. He graduated in 1965 with a Bachelors degree in dentistry. After his House Office job at the University for a year, he worked as a private practitioner at Leicester, England from 1960 – 1968.
Thereafter he returned to Ghana in 1969 and was employed by the Ministry of Health as a Dental Surgeon at Ridge Hospital. He was appointed the Senior Dental Surgeon in January 1969 to 19th Aug 1973.
In 1973, he resigned from the Ministry of Health to set up his own practice Poku Memorial Dental Clinic, which he had been managing till his demise.
He was a member of a number of Professional Associations – Ghana Medical Association,
Ghana Dental Association, Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners and the Common Wealth Dental Association.
He played very active roles in the Associations. Notable among which was a member of the Executive Council of the Ghana Medical Association from 1991 – 2000. And between 1998 and 2000, he was the Acting Vice President of Ghana Medical Association. He was also the Chairman, Greater Accra Branch of the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners.
On the dental front, he was the Secretary of the Dental group of the Ghana Medical Association from 1972 – 1985. By acclamation, he was elected the Chairman of the Dental Group of the GMA in 1985 – 1991 when he became the Founding President of the Ghana Dental Association.
He held this honoured position with distinction until he stepped down in 1995 having served the Dental group and later Association for a continuous period of 23 years.
By offering the premises of his clinic as meeting venue of the Association, he pushed the dental group forward until it became the now well established Dental Association.
His role in the Common Wealth Dental Association was acknowledged when he was elected Vice President (West Africa) in 1994. A position he held till 2003.
He attended several Dental Conferences since 1990 including Commonwealth Oral Health initiative meeting – London May 1990; FDI (World Dental Association) conference in Barcelona, Spain October 1998 etc.
He was honoured with the fellowship of the International College of Dentist (ICD), a fellow of the Ghana Dental Association (GDA), a fellow of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and a recipient of the Lifetime Gold Medal by Medical and Dental Council (MDC) for service rendered for dental profession in Ghana.
He has severally been honoured with awards by the International College of dentist (ICD) in January 2012; Ghana Dental Association (GDA) June 2012 and Ghana Medical Association (GMA) November 2002.
He was a member of the Board of GOIL Ghana from 2006 – 2009.
He also took a lot of interest in the running of affairs of Mfantsipim School his alma mater for so many years during Mr. B. K. Dontwi’s administration as headmaster. He was the chairman of the P.T.A. from 1990 – 1997; as well as a Member of the School’s Board of Governors 1996 – 2002; and also President of the Rotary Club of 0su in 1972.
After the demise of Mr. Kom who was then the president of MOBA. Dr. Poku was elected to succeed him as the MOBA president in 1997.
The Old Boys of Mfantsipim School having recognized his contribution to his alma mater bestowed on him the rank of “Ebusuapani” a title reserved for Presidents of the Old Boys Association.
He was a staunch Christian and attended Christ Anglican Church Legon.
He was very sportive in his days, he was a member of the Accra Lawn Tennis Club as well as the Achimota Golf Club. He was also a dying fan of the “Red Devils” Manchester United.
In recognition of his outstanding works, exploits, competencies, experiences, and contributions to the development and growth of his alma mater, the Development Planning Committee of Mfantsipim School honoured Ebusuapanyin Dr. Francis Apiagyei Poku with the award for EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP, DEDICATION AND VALOUR ON FRIDAY 22ND August 2014.
REST IN PERFECT PEACE DADDY