On February 8, 2022, the host of the Onua Maakye TV show, Blessed Godsbrain Smart, popularly known as Captain Smart, made claims about how Malaysia started its oil palm cultivation and the Afari Military Hospital in Kumasi being the largest military hospital in the world.
Captain Smart made these claims when he co-hosted Akoma FM’s morning show in Kumasi. He also claimed that the Afari Military hospital has an 800 beds capacity.
Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claims and presents the findings below.
Claim 1: “… Afari Military Hospital is the single largest military hospital in the whole world… The J.H Kufour 38 Military Hospital in Afari is the single largest military hospital, over 800 beds hospital. There is no military hospital in this world that has more than 600 [beds]…”
Explanation: The Afari Military Hospital, upon completion, will be a 500-bed capacity hospital and not an 800-bed capacity as claimed by Captain Smart. It is located in the Atwima Nwabiagye District of the Ashanti Region.
The 301 Military Hospital in Beijing, China, is the single largest military hospital in the world. It has a 4000-bed capacity, 21 clinical medicine departments, 8 national key disciplines, 3 military “double key” disciplines, 5 national clinical medicine research centers, 7 national key experimental platforms including the State Key Laboratory of Kidney Disease, 46 key laboratories at the provincial and ministerial level, 61 PLA medical research institutes and specialized centers.
There are several military hospitals around the world with more than 600-bed capacities. In Saudi Arabia, four military hospitals under the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) and the Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA) have more than 600-bed capacities. Under the SANG, the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh has a 1500-bed capacity while a branch at Jeddah also has a 751-bed capacity hospital.
Under MODA, the Prince Sultan Military Medical City (formerly Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital and/or Riyadh Military Hospital Al Kharj), Riyadh has more than 1,100 beds. Again, the King Salman Armed Forces Hospital in the North-western Region (formerly North West Armed Forces Hospital), Tabuk has a 900-bed capacity hospital. Furthermore, the Al-Hussein Hospital in Jordan has a 730-bed capacity and also accommodates a 60-bed Emergency Department.
Claim 2: “…When Malaysia’s former President came to Ghana to meet former President JJ Rawlings, he saw the oil palm tree and said I love these flowers… He sent two oil palm trees to Malaysia. Now they have over 700 million hectares of oil palm…”
Verdict: Completely false
Explanation: According to a paper, published on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) website, the first commercial oil palm cultivation in Malaysia started in 1917, when a young Frenchman Henri Fauconnier planted the crop at his Tennamaram Estate in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor, Malaysia.
In 1960, the Malaysian government after gaining independence from the British decided to alleviate rural poverty and wean its economic reliance on rubber and tin by introducing an agricultural diversification programme. This led to the large-scale cultivation of oil palm. By 1970, Malaysia had 370,000 hectares of land under oil palm cultivation, and it further grew to 1.48 million hectares in 1985.
While other accounts suggest that Malaysia got its oil palm seedling from West Africa (Ghana), there is no evidence to prove that it was through the effort of former President JJ Rawlings. Again, no Malaysian President visited Ghana during the tenure of former President JJ Rawlings.
In fact, Malaysia did not have a president as it is a constitutional monarchy with a king as the head of state. The head of state during Rawlings’ era was Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
From the presentation above, it clear that the claims Captain Smart made are completely false.
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