Views: 637 TheBridge’s reporter, Ishmael interviews Hon. Dr. Sabastian Sandare, a medical doctor over his decision to contest for a parliamentary seat...

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TheBridge’s reporter, Ishmael interviews Hon. Dr. Sabastian Sandare, a medical doctor over his decision to contest for a parliamentary seat as an MP, months ago at Wa.

 BR: It is a common knowledge that patient- doctor ratio in the country is bad. As a medical doctor, don’t you think the people are going to lose a medical doctor when they vote for you to go to the parliament as an MP?

HSS: They will get more than doctor Sandare. I am going to lobby to bring in more doctors to the area to prove to the people that they are not losing a doctor, but getting more doctors. I will invest to raise more doctors for the area. We have to invest to raise more doctors out of our sons and daughters.

I will build on the already existing CHPS compounds and lobby around the clock to bring adequate personnel to serve in them.

BR: Bulk of the population in your constituency is peasant farmers, what are your plans for them?

HSS: Agric forms about 80 per cent of the economy and what are the people doing? Basically they are peasant farmers and the land for farming is there, just that it is not very fertile. I am going to support them to leave the hoe and cutlass system of farming for mechanised system. I am going to make sure that they get tractors for plaughing, chemical fertilizers, and the necessary agric equipment and farm inputs, after all the role of an MP is to lobby for the development of his or her area aside law making.

BR: Do you have plans to empower women of the area?

HSS: Definitely, already there about 100 women groups each with membership capacity of 20 to 30 women in the constituency and most of them are into farming so likewise the men, I am going to grant them with loans and resource them with the necessary input, and help them create market for their produce. In fact, technical personnel will be available to educate them on what to farm and how to create the needed market for their produce. For example, an association of Fian woman in vegetable production is just lovely, and I trust them. “I may not have money to dish out to them but trust me we can change the constituency. I want them to be bigger than me. I believe there are great women and men in the constituency.”

BR: What are your plans for education?

HSS: I believe every child should be given equal opportunity to attain his or her dreams in education.  Life is more interesting if one is able to help others to become somebody who probably will have become no-body in life. Already, I have being paying schools fees for all categories of students from the area: teacher trainees, nurse trainees, student lawyers, and medical students. “I am rich but I do not have money or cash, my investment is the people. I often tell them, you are my investment, and when I look around I can see that it is beautiful. I have lived a legacy.”

BR: Who are you?

HSS: I am a rural man born and bred in a village called Dakyie-Daffiama. I attended basic school at Daffiama; walking and crossing rivers daily to attend school. I was extra determined and learned very hard using lantern. Anything that I will do to help a child from a rural community is to acquire education. As a student, anything that could prevent me from becoming myself today; I avoided it, such as alcohol, early sex, and drugs.  I did not get close to these.

I attended Saint Francis Xavier in Wa for my secondary education, and then the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) were I studied medicine. After completion, there were lots of opportunities for me in the south, but I chose to come back home because of the love I have for my people. “I can still remember one of my professors talking to me to stay back and serve at the university but “I told him I want to go home to serve my people. He just looked at me and said if you think that is ok with you.”

BR: Where was your first posting or work station?

HSS: My first posting was at the Nadowli Hospital, it was like a health centre by then. I led the team to improve it after which I was posted to Lawra hospital.

As a medical doctor, I know that for the people to stay healthy, they need good water sanitation, food and nutrition, (balance diet) clean environment, education, and good health system but all these will remain as theory without the needed political will, and so when I go to parliament as an MP I will work unbelievably hard to achieve them for my people.

Politics itself is a determinant of health. “I call parliament the house for resource distribution.”