Tag

Nigerian doctor

Browsing
Dr. Abosede Lewu is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist(@naijaobgyndoctor), Development Practitioner, Girls and Womens right and education advocate and an aspiring author. She is the founder of Girlsaide Initiative , an NGO focused on girls, women and underserved communities. Girlsaide Initiative is currently implementing several project around sexual and reproductive health and contributing towards achieving the SDGs.
Abosede has over 15 years experience on adolescent based issues with her interest and passion spanning back to her undergraduate years. She was a member, secretary and vice president of Action Group on Adolescent Health (AGAH) under the Campaign Against Unwanted pregnancy during her undergraduate years.
She actively serves as a facilitator, volunteer and mentor to several young people with numerous organizations.
She is a Mandela Washington Fellow (Young African Leadership Initiative) a flagship program by President Barrack Obama recognizing Young Africans showing leadership skill and improving lives and their communities.
She is an alumnus of University of Maiduguri, where she graduated with Honours.
She is continuously learning with various certifications such as Nonprofit Executive Program: Mendoza Business School from University of Notre Dame USA, Community health for all through Primary Health Care from John Hopkins University and Basics of Health Economics from World Bank Institute. She is a Member, West African College of Surgeons and Member, National Postgraduate Medical College.
She is happily married with children.
She shares her inspiring story in this exclusive interview with Esther Ijewere

Growing Up

Yes, my childhood definitely did. We nearly lost our mother during childbirth of one of my younger siblings. As a kid then, I saw the doctors that saved her as angels that gave me back my mother and really wanted to be able to do the same for other families. Growing up was interesting, we are 5 kids, I am the second born and first daughter, my parents were civil servants and we travelled a lot due to my father’s work, this had made me make friends all over the country. I am also one of those lucky girls, my father and mother raised us to be ambitious and fearless, growing up, i never saw myself as someone that could not do anything i set out my mind to do

Inspiration behind Girlsaide Initiative

I was inspired to start girlsaide because of the experiences and cases I saw as a medical student and  medical doctor. Young girls and women presenting with life threatening and sometimes, life taking complications that could have been prevented.

I also noticed a disconnect between parents and their adolescent daughters and decided to create a platform that allows the girls, women and the communities they live in to thrive.

The Journey so far

It’s been enlightening  and challenging at the same time. I have learned and stretched beyond my greatest imagination. It has also become an amazing platform for me to meet a lot of changemakers nationally and internationally.

It has evolved to include projects such as ‘Get a Pap Campaign to reduce Cervical Cancer, to Keep All Mothers Alive project to prevent maternal and perinatal deaths and our COVID19 response. Some others focused on parents with adolescent daughters girls and those leaving to obtain higher education.  We keep evolving  to address issues affecting our niche. It has made me more of a  development practitioner

Being an Obstetrician , Gynecologist, Girl child advocate, wife and mom , and managing it all

Sometimes I can’t explain how I juggle all but let me try. Once you realise balance is in constant motion, you do what is most important at each time.

So sometimes you have to prioritise being a mother and a wife above all, then sometimes you have to prioritise your work and your calling.

I also enjoy an amazing support system on the home front and my whole family, we plan together even before rolling out. This gives me confidence that when balance seems to be tilting towards work, they are in good hands. Shout out and thank you to my Hubby and the whole family. I also have an amazing inner circle of friends and team members. The advocacy and community work we do has become a team work and that makes sharing of roles and duties easier and more effective.

There is also my ultimate joker, the God factor, he is my ultimate muscle

Inspiration behind  @naijaobgyndoctor  platform , and it’s impact since inception

It still boils down to my experiences. People call me everyday on different health challenges, myths, avoidable complications and I am always surprised by how much misinformation that is out there. Also with the mass migration of health workers to outside shores, the number of specialists to people population is getting lesser. How about people that cannot access me directly or other doctors. I decided to give it a try.

The impact in this short time across my social media platform has been amazing. I have been able to provide consultations, referral services to women and families. I am also actively engaging influencers to demystify and educate  through healthy conversations around health and well being.

I also noticed a lack of support for women who have had miscarriages, stillbirths or lost a child and launched RAINBOW BLOOMS to support them. The uptake of that has also been phenomenal.

The Society  and it’s level of awareness  on issues centered around adolescents, and the right of the girl child

Society is not as well informed as it should be on adolescent issues or girl child issues. Most of this  results from the underestimation of their minds and capability and not realising that youthfulness is a strength.

Another issue affecting this information is that some people are not willing to embrace the fact that the roles, dreams and aspirations of girls have changed so they will rather keep upcoming girls uninformed so as to maintain status quo.

Things are however changing, it may not be as fast as we hope for but there is a forward movement especially with organisations like yours and ours and other advocates continuously pushing the conversations that engage adolescents and girls.

On young girls who need a listening ear, but scared to open up 

A problem shared is a problem half solved. This really frustrates me especially with regards to their reproductive health and cases of drug abuse. When girls get into trouble, only few have the confidence and the kind of relationship it takes to walk up to their parents and guardians to talk to them instead they  go to their friends who don’t know so much.  I implore them to please speak up. The fear you have is not as big as the trouble you can get into with wrong advice. Deliberately seek out your parents to also build a solid relationship with them, as  young girls, they may not believe this, but they are not your enemy, don’t lock them out. If this does not work, look within your family and find a responsible confidant

Challenges of being girl child advocate

Sometimes, you meet people who feel that the girl child issues have been talked about too much and we should all move on. A stronger challenge comes from the gate keepers of culture and tradition who want things to continue as they are, girls not going to school, marrying them off young, ostracizing teenage mothers, not paying attention to their menstrual health etc. This can be frustrating especially when they are women.

The challenge of explaining and defining the real meaning of feminism and gender equity is also there.

 3 women who inspire you to be better and why

My mother; She inspires me through her intelligence, resilience, love for God and her forgiving spirit, she is truly a gem

Mrs Amina J Mohammed

Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. She has been an exemplary Diplomat and politician. I admire her  greatly and all she has achieved and represents

Mrs Folorunsho  Alakija

She is a ceiling breaker, she has excelled and achieved global recognition in a tough field. She also  gives back a lot through her foundations and programs

There are many more women who all inspire me to reach for the stars

Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a woman of rubies because I am innovative, solution oriented,  not observing rather I am actively working to provide solutions to problems affecting my gender and community

Nuggets on how Girls can protect themselves during the Pandemic

Protect yourself from COVID19 by practicing all safety measures; stay home, wash your hands, use cloth masks when needed, maintain social distance. Protect yourself from dangers that can arise due to COVID19; don’t succumb to negative peer pressure, don’t experiment with bad stuff just because you are at home and bored. If you feel unwell speak to your parents and guardians, please do not self medicate for any condition you may be experiencing. This too shall pass.

NAIJA OBGYN DOCTOR is a health service provision entity that focuses on women, all health services related to them especially sexual and reproductive health.

CALL TO ACTION

I want to use this opportunity to call on the government at all levels, private sector leaders and philanthropists to make  investment in health a top priority and know that only healthy citizens can create and maintain wealth and build the economy.

 

Follow on IG @naijaobgyndoctor

Follow on Twitter @NaijaObgyn

 

 

“Says Social Media made people more aware of Child Sexual Abuse “

The Coronavirus has in no little way made the world appreciate frontline workers more, people who defy odds to stand in gap and keep the society safe. Dr. Nimi Ekere is one of such unsung heroes, working tirelessly to keep us safe.  She is a trained medical doctor and a consultant Family Physician. A Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Family Physicians. She is a life coach, mentor and teacher who is extremely passionate about children and young people, walking in the right path to achieve their full potentials.

She is also very passionate about effective and intentional parenting. Her Foundation, Ekom Charity Foundation mentors’ young people and also cares for the less privileged in the society. She is also the founder of Smile and Shine Children’s Foundation which is a non-profit organisation for children, aimed at preventing child sexual abuse, providing the needed help and support as well as emergency care and treatment with adequate follow up and rehabilitation for victims( children) of sexual abuse. She is the author of a collection of books that teach children and parents all they need to know about child sexual abuse. They include; ‘Some parts are special’ for preschoolers and young children aged 2 to 7 years, ‘Setting boundaries’ for older children , ‘Sparkles at dawn’, for teenagers and young adults and ‘Into the light’ for Parents and guardians.

 

Dr. Nimi Ekere is also a well sought-after public speaker, and happily married with kids. The inspiring Doctor shares her journey with me in this mind-blowing interview.

Childhood Preparation

I grew up seeing my mother care so much for others. My mother literally lived for others, especially the indigent. Up till now she still pays fees and house rents for people that are in need. She taught us how to love people, show empathy and go the extra mile for others. Even if I have a warm and calm personality, I can say that the act of giving, showing love and generosity to others were things I saw my mum do, so it became a part of me. My dad on the other hand, made me love to write. He would buy newspapers like Concord, punch and magazines like NewsWatch, prime people etc. and would hand over to me after reading as I would insist, I had to read them. Afterwards, I started to write articles and then I started to write short stories. I would take a wooden spoon and stand on front of the mirror and just talk. I liked Oprah Winfrey and I thought I could talk like her. Looking back, I think my childhood truly did play a significant part in what I am doing today albeit subtly.

Inspiration Behind Ekom Charity Foundation

I have always loved children and young adults. I had always known I would mentor children and since I also have a heart for humanity, I decided to start Ekom Charity Foundation years later to mentor young children and care for the less privileged, especially women. We go to schools to teach children about charting a good course for their lives. They are taught to avoid peer pressure, drugs, all forms of vices and we counsel them too. The foundation also does free medical outreaches and health campaigns.

So far, we have carried out numerous free medical services for the less privileged. We have organised events like Christmas parties in slums with Santa Claus giving wonderful gifts to the children. Most of these kids had never had a Christmas party in their lives and the excitement on their faces remain indelible, to say the least. I am deeply passionate about children…maybe this is because I am the first child.

Smile and Shine is new, and it was started because I had and still have a burning desire to end child sexual abuse. I had seen children become medically and psychologically traumatised because of CSA, while some even committed suicide. I have seen parents lose their children to the deleterious effects of CSA. I have also seen people blame the victims or survivors rather than give them the help that they deserve while the perpetrators walk the streets like heroes. I want to stop this.

I want to be able to help children not to get abused in the first place and in the sad event that they get abused, that help is proffered and these children are subsequently reintegrated back into the society and become healthy adults regardless. I want to also break the silence that is attached to CSA. I call it the “don’t tell anyone” phenomenon which is common in this part of the world. I believe that if victims are allowed to speak up, help would come faster and so, healing would also be faster and long lasting.

The Journey So Far

It has been an emotional journey for me, financially tasking and truly time consuming but it is worth every step. As long as a child gets help and never goes back to that experience, I am so happy and fulfilled. I would need collaborations from the government as well as other NGOs as sometimes, the children need more than the emergency medical and psychological care. They could need to go to a safe place as their “homes” might be unsafe for them. We also need justice to be served as the perpetrator should ideally get prosecuted. Again, this would require collaborative efforts from the legal angles and law even agencies.

Being A Medical Doctor, Life Coach, Teacher, Wife, And Mom And Managing It All

It really isn’t easy, but I thank God for the strength and wisdom. I work hard and try my best to give my best at anything I do. I do not joke with my role as a wife and mother. I do well to take care of the Homefront because I believe that your home should be a prototype of what you want to see in the society. So, I spend time with my husband to train our kids. I try to spend time to teach them, support, and nurture them on the right path. It is not surprising that they are always at there best behavior,  an winning  awards in addition to their outstanding academic awards. I owe it all to God. I also have a supportive husband who is my best friend and stands in just well when I have to be away caring for patients, teaching or mentoring children and young people.

Book Publication

I have published four books for Preschoolers and young children, older children and preteens, teenagers and young adults and parents. So, I have a collection of books for the family on how children can prevent sexual abuse and how they can build a formidable relationship with their parents. The book for parents is an exposé on child sexual abuse. Everything a parent must know; from red flags to tell tale signs and how a child and the family can get help when an abuse occurs, including when and where to get help. Additionally, it also gives practical steps on how a parent- child relationship can be built and sustained. It is indeed a must have for the family.

The Epidemic Of Sexual And Why We Should All Be Involved

I would like to state here that child sexual abuse has always been here with us. Social media has helped a great deal to make people more aware of the menace called CSA. If it appears to be on the rise, I will say that the state of the economy could be contributory. Parents have to work so hard and the child are left in the hands of their nannies and relatives who may even be the abusers. Also, a lot of parents are not friends with their children. Having a good reputation with your child and instilling the right values in them is a step towards preparing CSA. A child who needs to seek validation from external sources is a vulgar child at risk for molestation. Also, parents need to start early to teach their children sex education using age appropriate words and terms. All these are contained in my books.

On Parents Who Hardly Have Time For The Kids

Create time for your kids. No one can take care of your children better than you. No maid or relative can care for your kids better than you. And this is not only for mothers, even fathers should be involved in raising the children. Both parents need to spend time to speak with their kids as often as possible and build a good relationship with their children. Your children should be able to tell you anything without the fear of being judged or criticized.

Being A Medical Doctor And Children’s Advocate

I think it is easier for me because i am taken seriously. The children open to me and tell me things they can never tell their parents and because I create an enabling and confidential environment with them, it makes it lot easier for me. They tell me I am their role model and some even say they want to be doctors when they grow up. I would say that being a doctor makes the walk somewhat easier.

 Women Who Inspire Me To Be Better

My mum, Mrs. Joy Raymond; She is an amazing woman who set the pace for what has become my lifestyle today. She is generous, kind, selfless and really caring. All these qualifies I see in myself and I truly thank God for a great mother.

Oprah Winfrey- I love her love for humanity and like I said earlier, I had dreams of being on TV as a child because of Oprah.

Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya was something I admired greatly. I think she was a great woman and I really loved her family values and all she stood for. I still listen to her messages. She inspired me so much.

Being a Woman Of Rubies

I would say that I am a go- getter and once I put my heart to a cause that I think is right, I go all out. Again, I am touching lives, which is what God requires of me as a Christian. I think these and more make me a woman of rubies.

On Protecting Kids From Sexual Abuse During The Pandemic

Make your children your friend. Let them not walk on eggshells when they relate with you. Make sure you call from work to check up on them from time to time. Installing a CCTV would also be of great help. Do not be ashamed to discuss sex education and boundaries with them. Also talk to their caregivers or nannies. Let your children know how to say no to untoward behaviours and advances. Also educate the nannies about your expectations, do’s and don’ts and boundaries.

To place an order for my book , send an email to books@nimiekere.com.ng, or send a WhatsApp message to +2348160540979 , +234703829374

Popularly referred to as Dr. Kel, Dr Kelechi is a resourceful Medical Doctor who possesses excellent clinical skills as well as good relational ability that has won the trust and endearment of her patients and the general public, both offline and online. A public health enthusiast, health communicator, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate and content creator.

Dr. Kelechi is the convener of the “Healthertainer” brand which promotes total health and wellness across all social media platforms. The brand is renowned for stirring up trending conversations with regards to important and prevalent health issues and proffering solutions to the dire health challenges faced in Nigeria. She is also the founder of HEAL for Africa & Pay attention to her, two initiatives aimed at promoting health education and female hygiene. She is committed to promoting health literacy globally with verifiable successes in effective health communications and generating active participation and engagement among people. Kelechi currently works as a physician in the Kogi State Government House Clinic, Lokoja while she runs her platforms. The foremost health activist shares her inspiring story with me in this educative interview.

Childhood Influence

Yes, my childhood prepared me for what I do now. I grew up in an environment filled with love and excitement. I am the 10th child of my father and 3rd from my own mum. We didn’t lack anything growing up. (I am from a united and peaceful polygamous home. We were fondly called “The Okoro House of Commotion” because of our family escapades. LOL. such sweet memories). I had all the emotional, moral, spiritual and financial support any child needed, however, as I began to get older and see life from my own eyes, I realized that there was more to life. Interacting with other children from less privileged homes made me realized how lucky I was and also taught me to be sympathetic toward other people’s plight. Subconsciously, I grew up with a resolve to show affection to everyone around me, especially those who couldn’t afford the luxury.  Another period that prepared me for what I do today was going from a period of plenty to nothing. This was during my university days. Every family has their financial ups and downs and when we faced ours, I had a personal experience of what it meant to have nothing and my resolve to attain the capacity to always help the less privileged grew even stronger. It was during those trying times that my entrepreneurial spirit was awoken. I learned how to earn money not only for myself but to cater to the needs of others. Let’s just say, I have always taken it as a point of duty and privilege to be a source of hope, help, and inspiration to others.

Inspiration behind “Healthertainer” & “Heal for Africa”

The word “Healthertainer” was originally coined by me from two words I love and can totally relate with: Health and entertainment, representing my profession and my personality.  The brand was born out of my desire to make health palatable and relatable for the layman to understand. While in medical school, I noticed a communication barrier between doctors and patients which resulted in poor patient outcomes. Patients did not understand their conditions or the role they needed to play in ensuring better outcomes while managing their conditions. Also, I realized that many Nigerians are suffering and dying from preventable illnesses and complications of diseases which could have been prevented or even better managed if detected early. This was largely due to a lack of proper health information. I decided that when I became a doctor, I would simplify health information delivery and improve healthcare in Nigeria using the preventive approach. I am currently into clinical practice but spend a lot of my time using innovation and entertainment to drive health advocacy both offline and online. I use my social media platforms to promote health in an entertaining manner without losing the core message and more Nigerians are becoming more interested in learning about their health. My brand is barely 2 years old and it has grown a community of over 100,000 followers across all platforms. In less than 2 years, my brand has become the ‘go to’ when it comes to social media health advocacy. I can proudly say that the Healthertainer brand has blazed the trail for health influencers in Nigeria.  I  have inspired and mentored more medics to use social media to promote health and wellness.

Of over 180 million people in Nigeria, Only about 98.3 million persons use the internet. This means that the remaining 81.7 million will not have access to all the information available online. This informed my decision to start a non-profit organization (Heal for Africa Initiative) that carries out health advocacy in the local communities. Heal for Africa initiative was born out of the desire to reach out to the underserved populace and more impact lives. Before I started my own initiative, I had volunteered for other NGOs as a resource person and sponsor. I also did a lot of personal charity, randomly helping people in need. In 2017, I decided it was time to start my own thing and build a structure that would outlive me and also provide a bigger platform to grow more leaders and touch more lives.  HEAL stands for Health, Education, and Advocacy for better Livelihood. This acronym embodies our core aims and objectives. We are committed to “healing’ Africa, one community at a time. (www.healforafrica.org)

Being an advocate and working in public health sector

I must say it is not easy at all having to combine my 9 – 5 job, the Healthertainer Brand and directing the organization’s projects, but somehow, the work gets done. Having a supportive boss who also happens to be a member of the board of trustees, has helped a great deal to make things easy. Having a reliable team we call the “Heal Tribe” as hands and legs of the organization also keep our projects running even when I am not available. All this is time-consuming, but striking a balance and managing time effectively helps. Although sometimes it gets overwhelming, we are, however, working hard to develop a structure that can be self-sustaining.

Impact of “Pay Attention to her” Initiative

“Pay Attention to Her (PATH) project focuses on Reproductive Health outreaches for adult women; menstrual hygiene management and sexual health outreaches for adolescents girls and females in their early adulthood and Sexual Health outreaches for adolescent boys and males in their early adulthood (Pay Attention To Him). On the 28th of May, 2018, we launched the PATH School Tour to empower girls in public schools and rural areas. During this exercise, they are enlightened on their role as nation builders in addition to sexual health education and menstrual hygiene management. All participants are given free sanitary pads and personal hygiene products ( Soap, liquid antiseptic, toothpaste, tissue paper, deodorant, etc). We also enroll them into a network we call the “Big Sister” network so that we can have a sustained communication with the girls.  So far, over 2,000 girls in 3 public schools have benefitted from this exercise.  The experience has been fulfilling. After each program, the immediate impact is palpable. The girls gain a new sense of belonging and self-confidence. You can visibly feel their excitement and gratitude as they finally find a safe place to seek more knowledge about the biological and emotional changes that come with puberty. The reassurance of a brighter future as they interact with our female guest speakers. Our programs have attracted the likes of the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mrs Petra Akinti Onyegbule,  Mrs. Bolanle Amupitan, Kogi Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Sanda Musa, Special Senior assistant to the governor on Women and Child Development, and other prominent and inspiring role models in the community.This year, we will be rolling out more initiatives to cater to the women, adolescent boys and young adults in line with our goals, vision, and mission.

Challenges

After our lectures, we gift the girls with disposable pads for just one or two menstrual cycles. That is not enough. How do we guarantee that they have sanitary materials for the next? We want to offer more sustainable options, but they come with challenges. The reusable cloth pads are more sustainable but the challenge that comes with this is the lack of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in public schools and rural areas.  Another option is the use of Menstrual Cups, the challenge here would be low acceptability due to cultural and religious beliefs.

Our society doesn’t see the need to talk about menstrual hygiene. It is perceived as a taboo or a filthy experience that should be spoken about only behind closed doors. As a result of this, a lot of young girls go through their initial experiences with so much confusing and guilt.  Another major challenge we face is funding for projects. 90 percent of funds used for projects are personal. The other 10 % comes from a close network of friends/ family and also from my online community. We have plans to improve fundraising efforts via sales of branded items, membership and sourcing for grants to help us make more impact this year.

Other Projects

Heal for Africa has another project called HEAL THE SLUMS project. People living in the slums are denied basic rights such as good food, healthcare, shelter and potable water which makes live unpleasant for them. This project is dedicated to this group of people to show them affection during festivity periods. The Heal The Slums project is also an avenue to interact with community leaders and other stakeholders to conduct a needs assessment around basic amenities and discussing means of meeting those needs. It is our way of reaching out to underserved communities to show affection and inspire hope. So far, 4 Communities in Kogi State have benefitted from this program. Outside the hospital and civic space, I do public speaking, compering corporate events and volunteering with other organizations to drive other SDGs.

Last year, I partnered with another brilliant Doctor, Chukwu Analo on the “Health Simplex’ brand. Health Simplex is our own little innovative contribution to the actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 17:  for Good health and wellbeing and Partnership for the goals. The mission is very simple, Incorporate Information and communication technology and Health as to provide good health for all. This is a project to look out for this year.  (www.healthsimplex.com). So you see, I am a serial hustler. Lol.  I do a lot of “small small” businesses here and there to augment my salary as a doctor so I can keep funding my passion.

Reward

My greatest reward is the satisfaction and recommendations I get from doing what I do. I really didn’t know how impactful my work was until people started giving testimonies of how my life of impact has spurred them to start their own initiatives.  Also, putting smiles on the faces of our beneficiaries, inspiring hope and having so many young people look up to me has been a source of joy and motivation for me. In barely 2 years of my service to humanity, I have seen how much impact these little acts of kindness here and there can ignite in other people’s lives and I want to keep being a vessel of impact in my community.I am motivated by the results so far and I want to keep doing more. Another great motivation for me is the impact it has on my own life. I am becoming a better person and enjoying the fulfillment and peace of mind that comes with supporting others.

High rate of depression & why Government should intervene

I think depression seems to be on the rise because more people are beginning to admit that they suffer from it.  The problem has always been there, but poorly diagnosed.  Although there is still a high level of stigmatization associated with depression these days people are more open about it. Another reason is that people are allowing the pressure of the modern world to get to them. The high expectations from society and the quest for fame, luxury and money are also driving a lot of youth especially, to anxiety, depression and eventually suicide.  Depression is no respecter of socioeconomic status, Rich people get depressed too, but poverty and scanty livelihood have also been implicated as risk factors for depression. What the government can do is to improve the economy and also help spread awareness on mental health issues. Expert management of depression can be expensive so the government should support.

On giving up

Many times I have felt like giving up. Many times I have felt frustrated, underachieved and underappreciated for all the hard work I put in. But, in my lowest moments, testimonies from people I have helped indirectly or directly spur me back into action.

I remember when my first Instagram account was hacked at 28,000 followers, I was downcast. I didn’t know where to start. In fact, I decided to throw in the towel, but I couldn’t because people kept on calling to find out when I was coming back online, narrating how my page had helped them in one way or the other. I had no choice than to start all over. The funny thing is, when I started all over, that was when clients started requesting my service. I had paid my dues and it was time to reap what I had sown. I started earning a lot from my Healthertainer platforms, working with local and international health brands. It felt good to earn money while living my passion.

Who and What Inspire me to be better….

I am inspired by every strong woman out there who are excelling in their various spheres of life despite the odds against them. I am inspired by people like Oprah Winfrey, Taraji P Henson who kept believing in themselves and pursuing their dreams till they had their big breakthrough. I spent 11 years in medical school ( Studying medicine in Nigeria is a major struggle, story for another day, I promise) and graduated at the age of 28, I felt as if I had wasted so many years and I didn’t have much time to leave a meaningful life. I can proudly say that I have achieved so much between the age of 29 till date (I turned 32 on the 2nd of February, 2019). I haven’t gotten my big breakthrough, but I have activated the process that will get me there.I have a lot of young people who look up to me. Small me, and I am already a mentor to many, This inspires me to live a life worthy of emulation.  I don’t want to be anybody’s role model, I do not want to be put on a pedestal, I just want to groom more young people to aspire to do better than me and be a source of inspiration to the next generation.

One thing I wish I could change in the Health sector

I would like to talk to medical students and prepare them for life after medical school. All we learned in medical school was how to save other people’s lives but not how to survive in the real whole. We need more than medical knowledge to survive after medical school. The whole is changing. I want to educate medical students on the need to develop other aspects of their lives and also equip themselves with survival skills that are not in the school syllabus. Medicine in Nigeria is no longer a “rag to riches” story, gone are the days when you graduate from medical school, save house job money and buy a “Camry I don buy my own”. After the internship, the real struggle continues. In a country like Nigeria where doctors pay is not commensurate to the service rendered, extra skills are important for survival. I have been able to survive the system so far because of my entrepreneurial and social media skills.

Being a  Woman of Rubies 

I guess I have earned the “woman of rubies” title because a lot of people recommended me on your platform (Smiles). Seriously, I am honored and humbled to be recognized as a woman of substance. A woman who should be celebrated for her contributions towards making the world a better place. Women of Rubies are women whose stories are inspiring hope and transformation across the globe. Women who have managed to maintain a sane work-life balance as they voyage the path of self-discovery and actualization. Women who are supporting and encouraging other women by sharing their hope-inspiring stories and practical tools to achieve their dreams. I believe that my life and activities in the last few years have depicted these values. Ruby is a precious gemstone that epitomizes passion, confidence, courage, determination, adventure, and vitality.  The ruby stone is also known for its durability, hardness, and luster.  I can proudly say I am a woman of Rubies because I share these same attributes with the Ruby stone.

Appreciation of Female doctors In Nigeria

Doctors are not appreciated generally in Nigeria, both male and female. I don’t think there is any marginalization of the female doctors in particular.

Health Nuggets

“Women need to make their health a priority. An unhealthy  woman cannot run her home effectively”

“Regular health checks can save your life.”

“Screen and get vaccinated against  the Human papillomaVirus (HPV) vaccine  that causes Cervical Cancer.”

“Adopt a healthy lifestyle and dietary habits that reduce your risks of developing other cancers.“

“ Learn how to do the self-breast examination and always check your breasts for changes that may be symptoms of breast cancer. Early detection is key.’

“MOVE! A sedentary lifestyle predisposes you to obesity and heart diseases. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day five times a week. Don’t wait till you enroll in a gym. If you can’t brisk-Walk, skip, cycle, run or jog around your neighborhood, JUST DANCE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.”