STATEMENT OF PURPOSEI was born and raised in a rural Niger Delta region of Nigeria, a place where most people are dying from one disease condition or another. Loosing my father at an early age to diabetes informed my decision to becoming a medical doctor, as I am determined to contribute my quota to the development of the health system in my country by providing health information and services to the indigent and marginalized. Many women and children in Nigeria still die from preventable conditions which explains our worsening health indices and inability to achieve the MDGs. With a strong interest in preventive medicine and population health, I see myself playing a significant role in improving the health sector of my country through a systems-based approach which would focus on improving the overall capacity of the health system to deliver effective services (promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative).Following my father’s death, I took up a job in order to continue my education as well as support the family. I studied extensively after school, and represented my high school district at the state science competition, where I emerged 1st position and was awarded a scholarship to study medicine. While studying, I volunteered for an organization involved in rural health services, and I was in charge of four (4) community primary health centers in Ethiope West Council District. The experience afforded me the opportunity to apply my training and skills in basic mathematics & statistics in research methodology, using quantitative approach in analyzing data collected from health surveys, records and questionnaires for planning future interventions, while working at the interface between the national health system and community-based health care delivery, solving public health challenges through community based solutions.Upon graduation from medical school, I returned to my community, where I completed a year long internship, a mandatory training for all newly qualified doctors in Nigeria. As part of this role, I spent 12weeks in public health & medicine unit managing patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases, many with poor prognosis due to complications and financial constraints from prolonged hospital stay. Through these experiences, my interest shifted towards understanding the social cultural and political economic aspects of diseases and health inequalities in Africa. Determine to contribute my quota, I formed STOP DIABETES AFRICAN NETWORK with a mission to add value to life by improving access to health information and services. It comprised of young health and non health volunteers who deploy part of their time to saving lives in underserved communities. I focused chiefly on reducing premature morbidity & mortality from diabetes and other non communicable diseases through research, sensitisation, screening and the institution of cost effective strategies at the community level. I set up health post in remote places manned by trained volunteers with funding from pharmaceuticals who subsidized prices with that of high income areas. Since inception, I have reached over 500 persons in eight(8) different communities, working hand in hand with the leaders and government agency responsible for non communicable diseases. Diabetes like other life style diseases is no longer confined to developed nations of the temperate zone but has now attained epidemic proportion in developing nations, posing great dangers to the hard won gains against infectious diseases in these regions and thus, global health. Many nations in the tropics are faced with this dilemma. Nigeria represent a classical example of this trend. Diabetes with complications requires a lot of care and with no health insurance, people must pay out of pocket, which is hard, forcing many individuals and families into poverty everyday in the tropics with major social and fiscal implications on communities and governments. Rising from a disadvantage background without access to basic health information and services, I do not want any child to suffer from or experienced preventable loss like I did. Following my internship, I was deployed for another year long National Service to a rural community in Southern Nigeria with a relatively high prevalence rate of HIV AIDS. Over there, the capacity of the primary healthcare system to plan interventions was extremely frail and ineffective. Security and other socioeconomic challenges further compound this situation resulting in poor and inequitable health outcomes evidenced by high maternal and child mortality indices. I was excited to contribute to saving lives of women and children through facility and community-based interventions.I later joined the Kogi State Ministry of Health, Northern Nigeria as a Medical Officer Of Health where I currently contribute to planning and operational research. As the coordinator of the Department Of Medicine monthly review on non communicable diseases in the state specialist hospital, I further realized the epidemiological transition couple with ineffective intervention strategies and implementation processes across the various levels of the Nigerian health system. This realization, fueled my desire to pursue graduate studies in Global Health Science And Epidemiology to further broaden my research skills as well as gain new insights and networks that would enable me continue to make novel advancements and laudable professional contributions to health care in our inner cities. I hope to understand through practical teachings and quality research how appropriate global health intervention strategies can be developed and successfully implemented to serve the needs of developing nations. My studies will go a long way to help me grasps the proper tools needed to work with the government, donor agencies and non governmental organizations to finding sustainable solutions to the rising tide of premature morbidity and mortality from diabetes and other non communicable diseases in low and middle income countries. The experience and credentials of faculty staff in the University of Oxford in Nuffield Department Of Population Health is particularly inspiring and gives me the assurance that I can have quality mentorship towards completing my research degree in the university as well as gain the necessary competence to translate findings to practice within the context of Nigeria’s health system. The University has the flagship program and network for me to fully develop my capability as a global health researcher, epidemiologist and policy expert forever laboring to decipher the complex human, ethical, political economic and cultural factors that undergirds the challenges of population health and development in today’s Africa. I anticipate a lifetime of creative research for ways to better implement global intervention strategies locally that would enable indigent and marginalized communities in low and middle income countries direct access to primary health care even in the face of emergencies while ensuring that the hard won gains against infectious diseases in these regions are not frittered away. I hope to continue my studies to PhD in population health. My passion, academic abilities, research, travels, cultural competencies and experiences will be of immense value to the student body and graduate global health program.
September 8, 2019 0 Comments