Anas Aremeyaw Anas Reports from Accra, in a three part series which takes a peek into the abortion statistics and also bring into focus the position of our laws on abortion. By New Crusading Guide, 11 Sep 2012
A quintessentially clean, calm and quiet clinic environment, the calm caresses you with the kind of cautious care that you cannot help but be conscious of as you come close to the compound.
Enter Dr. Joshua Drah’s theatre room and you cannot fail to be struck by the fantastic dreariness of the facility, a far cry from the exterior fanfare.
The conscientious looking medical practitioner is resplendent in his trademark white apparel with his stethoscope dangling daintily over his shoulders. No professional ever looked more focused and serious on his job than this self – mitered apostle of abortion operations.
But as Shakespeare put it in Julius Caesar; ‘Every like is not the same.’ And so the pristine cleanliness of the surgical bed in the corner, clad in immaculate white bed sheets only looks, but never really is, cozy and luxurious, if the ordeal of female clients of this ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ of a doctor is anything to go by.
Of course the pain of surgical operation cannot be wished away even by the most comfortable of surgical beds. But this is an entirely different kind of operation; an orgy of sexual assaults by the sex maniac who calls himself a doctor, the New Crusading GUIDE can confirm.
That a person be called a doctor is a source of pride and accomplishment to them, their families, friends and society at large. To their family and acquaintances, they [doctors] are special people for the simple reason that their calling is to do their best to save lives.
An indubitably justified pride that stems from the years of hard work and sacrifices embedded in their training and more so their very heavy work schedule allied with an oath (the Hippocratic) binding all medical officers to act in ways that protect the lives of others at all times.
And so, several persons in the field have lived up to the very professional and upright values that constitute the noble profession, people that Hippocrates (often regarded as the father of modern medicine) would have been proud of, people who graced the world of medicine and healing and who the history books would keep a very good account of.
Some other people in masquerade, parade illegally operating ‘clinics’ under the guise of having the healing hand, yet theirs is the ‘hand of disease and destruction. Such is the story of the sexy and quack abortion expert, Joshua Drah, the man at the center of our latest under cover exposé.
Having gathered information about the existence of the ‘illegal abortion hub,’ operated by Drah, we [the Special Investigations Team] of the New Crusading GUIDE, headed by our ace undercover reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas, went in to ascertain the truth, during which time we managed to plant our cameras in the ‘theatre’.
The videos that we got were simply unbelievable. It was a peek into the activities of a man who has for over a decade demeaned womanhood, flouted laws of the land and supervised numerous abortions – some of which have gone horribly wrong leading to complications and death of clients in extreme cases.
‘Dr.’Drah – now in the grips of the law following a security raid, operates an abortion clinic, in an unassuming structure situated at Madina New Road, around Rawlings Circle. From the outside, the place has no sign board: ‘Universal Mission Clinic’ is imprinted atop the inner wall just upon entry.
When quizzed by the Police at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters about the absence of a sign board, he explained that it was as a result of an expired operating license which he was working to renew.
For him, there was always a price to pay for an abortion. Beyond his fee of between GH¢ 50 and GH¢ 100 that is taken before the operation, there is for the beautiful clients an extra charge; Sex in the middle of an abortion.
THE ABORTION ROOM
The ‘theatre’ where the entire action [abortion and sex] takes place is an estimated 12 by 14 ft space – one of several rooms in the clinic. Incidentally, the room is labeled ‘male ward’ a part of which is the non-functioning pharmacy.
It contains two beds, one with a mattress with bed sheet and the other- the abortion bed is customized with black leathered mattress and a pillow. In spite of successive scrubs, visible signs of blood clots adorn the feet of the bed.
Close by is a black rubber bag filled with rubber gloves, with which he probes the crevices of the female ‘underworld’ either to insert pills or to pull out fetuses.
Then there is some cotton with which he wipes off blood and whatever residual matter that is disgorged in the cause of his operation. When clients become nauseous or feel like vomiting, there is a medical renal dish at their service.
His operation tools are placed in a nearby rubber bowl filled halfway with water, the last is a blue bucket in which all the blood clots and fetal remains are collected.
Other rooms in the clinic are the female ward, treatment room, a laboratory full of cabinets, toilet and bathroom area, consulting room and Drah’s office.
The volume of a television set in the reception area is almost always tuned very high whiles the operation is ongoing. ‘Dr’ Drah is usually seated in the course of the operation, the only time that he stands is when he gives his own form of anesthesia to clients who keep moaning and groaning presumably from the pain of the sharp instruments – the ‘anesthetic sex’ is brief but intense and usually comes in the middle of the operation.
NO ASSISTANTS: PAYING THE ‘SEXY’ PRIZE
When we go to hospitals, we see doctors always working with assistants, but not our man Drah. An expert that he is, Drah is able to single handedly operate as many clients as troop to his outfit. Hard core video evidence on Drah’s activities shows that his assistants are only good for cleaning out whatever blood is left on the operating bench or which might have dripped on the floor- after an operation.
That is barely the only piece of the abortion ‘action’ that his assistants can see. Theirs is to dispose of the aborted fetuses. The mode of disposal is simple, add lots of water to the fetal material and flush the mixture down the clinic manhole. Only God knows how many fetuses have ended up there.
The reason why our ‘dr’ works without any assistants is quite simple: their presence would not allow him to do what he does best in the middle of an operation- our videos show how this ‘doctor’ has paused in the middle of several operations to loosen his belt and have sex with the very clients he is operating on whiles the clients lay on the operating bench groaning.
In one such footage he explains why he has to have sex with the particular patient.
Doctor: It’s been a long time since you did the ‘thing’
Patient: What did you say?
Doctor: You did the ‘thing’ a long time ago.
Patient: You said I did what?
Doctor: You haven’t had sex in a long while.
Doctor: Eii! Your ‘thing’ is cute. If you won’t mind let’s have sex to open you up.
Patient: You said?
Doctor: I said if you won’t mind let’s have sex so that it will open you up.
Doctor: Or you don’t like that. Let me check and see. I’m doing this but the thing is rather closing up, why? Mm!
Patient: I don’t know.
Doctor: I’m inserting my fingers in there but it is still closing up why?
Patient: I don’t know.
Doctor: I have to do the ‘thing’ to open it up and you are saying no. I’ll just have to put it in there one, two, three that’s it, and then it will open up.
Doctor: should I put it inside? Are you sure? Then come forward so I will put it inside. When I put it in there ‘one, two, three’ then that is it, it will be ok.
Doctor: Push back.
Patient: She pushes back
Patient: She makes small screams when the doctor starts the procedure.
With the video footage we obtained from our secret cameras, we sought collaboration with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and Panthers Unit of the Ghana police Service , to conduct a raid on the premises.
With about a dozen armed men and other officers, the joint team [CID/Tiger Eye] mapped out a strategy that was eventually to lead to the arrest of Drah.
The modus operandi was for Tiger to go with his girlfriend to perform an abortion. After the doctor had agreed so to do, the team would leap into action.
The plan worked perfectly, as the doctor was eventually picked and the entire clinic searched. The CID picked a few exhibits that were to be used as evidence during prosecution. Amongst others, the operating table, the abortion tools, a bucket with some blood and polythene filled with cotton and gloves were all picked up. Also found in his office were boxes of aphrodisiacs.
FROM A GENEALOGY OF QUACK DOCTORS/ SON OF A QUACK DOCTOR
So why would someone without any medical training take to such a delicate trade that involves lives?
We gathered from a conversation at the premises, two workers discussing how far the doctor has come; amongst other things, the heart throbbing moments when the place was on the verge of closure and how they had to ‘recoil’ to the current place to escape visibility.
The also reveal the ‘Doctor’s’ long family history with abortion trade which dates back to his father, a pioneer of abortion clinics in the area. The doctor is no stranger to controversy as he was once arrested and the clinic closed because he purchased a ‘connection’ car.
Excerpts of the recording are as follows:
Worker 1: It became a police case, doctor was arrested, the man said all doctor did here was abortion; he disgraced doctor.
Worker 2: Really?
Worker 1: Yes, They came here very early in the morning all over this place, the police, camera people (TV Africa crew)
Worker 2: Hmm
Worker 1: At first, we had so many clients …
Worker 2: Abortion?
Worker 1: Abortion and other treatment, there were so many clients. So the place was closed down for about five months. During this time, he conducted the abortion at home. So we ended up having to change location because of the man’s posturing
Worker 2: I thought an abortion had led to loss of life or something as serious as that
Worker 1: No, here if you take such a case to the Police, it would become a foolish case because in the whole of Madina, it is his father who first brought abortion to Madina. So even when the Police hears Universal, they know its abortion.
They’ve never arrested anyone here and no life’s ever been lost. They know that when it comes to abortion, we [Universal] are champions. Doctor as you see him, has gone through a lot!
Worker 2: Really, I thought it was death of a client or something grievous
Worker 1: No, everyone in Madina knows it was his father who brought abortion here. There was no clinic when Universal opened, so Mighty Clinic also learnt from doctor’s father.
From all the video footage that we have on tape of his activities, one thing stands tall, the class of people who patronize his services, they are predominantly young girls.
The young girls, we estimate were in their ‘twenties,’ even though occasionally we saw teenage girls who were in to have abortions.
When an operation – the highest of which lasts 15 minutes leaves a patient in some pain, they are made to lie on beds in the female ward and be monitored by medical assistants.
On one occasion, as a girl lay on the bed in agonizing pain, the doctor upon being informed of the pain by an assistant, prescribed that she drinks ‘Malta Guinness’ – a non alcoholic beverage.
His clientele brought into sharp focus the issue of sexual enthusiasm that leads to teenage pregnancy allied with the dangerous and lethal issues of abortion, which was a first point of call to many girls.
In the second part of this piece, we bring you exclusive answers that ‘Dr. Drah’ gave to the Police CID during questioning at his clinic and the Police Headquarters and also give you his reaction when evidence was played to him.