As a paediatric resident doctor in one of the busiest teaching hospital in Africa, my distressing reality on a daily basis was one of seeing promising children succumbed to infectious diseases like complicated malaria, tetanus, pneumonia and meningitis before they even had a chance at life. For each child we were able to salvage, there were many more who succumbed to infections.
Sometime last year, I was convinced that I needed to go further than just treating one child at a time, rewarding as this was, in the short term. I believed that the sound tutelage in the MSc will equip me with the knowledge and skills to provide a broader solutions to problems challenging the well-being of Nigerian children. My career plans include: inclusion of pneumococcal conjugate and Haemophilus influenza vaccines into our National Programme for Immunization to ensure that these vaccines are readily available to all children as this will help reduce the burden of deaths due to pneumonia and meningitis; availability of free healthcare for Nigerian children under the age of 5years as the horrible scenario of parents bringing their sick child to hospital, only to find that the available treatment is beyond their reach financially happens too often, unrestricted access to healthcare and finally and most importantly, discovery of very effective and affordable malaria vaccine for all.
I believe that I can most effectively contribute to a reduction in mortality and the creation of the optimal quality of life for our children by significantly improving my understanding of the epidemiology, lab research and clinical aspect of tropical diseases, and the management of the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Epidemiology of tropical diseases and their management appeals to me as a primary source of the knowledge that underlies public health policy and practice, thus contributing to the reduction of the disease burden in populations through research, education, and service. I have no doubt that master’s training in clinical tropical medicine at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki which I commenced in October 2014, will empower me with the epidemiologic as well as managerial skills I need to solve problems in tropical medicine and clinical research and practice. At NEKKEN, I have been exposed to cutting edge lab technology such as use of PCRs. Without funding by ALN, this would not have been possible.