Best And Greatest Doctors Ever Produced By Nigeria

    Views: 26 Replies: 1 Posted by: Gbutemu

    Posted: 02: 27 PM, 23rd September, 2019

    The medical profession has been from time immemorial, and universally, it still remains the most learned and the noble amongst the original learned profession. Listed among the primary 3 learned profession physician, scribe (Lawyer) and the priest (Clerics). The profession was the doyen of all other professions in the pre-colonial Nigeria. In fact, at that period, the medical profession was at the frontline before the emergence of, and growth of some other professions in Nigeria. Africanus Horton, together with his colleague, William Davies, were the first Nigerians to qualify as medical doctors' when they simultaneously gained the M.R.C.S. of England at King's College, London, in 1858. On the other hand, Oguntola Sapara, who obtained the L.R.C.P. and S. of Edinburgh in 1895, was the last and eighth Nigerian to qualify in medicine in the nineteenth century. Between 1858 and 1895, five other Nigerians graduated in medicine, namely Nathaniel King (1874), Obadiah Johnson (1884), John Randle (1888), Orisadipe Obasa (1891) and Akinsiku Leigh-Sodipe (1892). In this article we celebrate the life, times and achievements of Nigerians greatest doctors and their contributions to the sustenance of life and the growth of public health practice.

    Dr. Isaac Ladipo Oluwole

    Isaac Ladipo Oluwole was born in 1892 to Bishop Isaac Oluwole. Ladipo is the first Nigerian Medical Officer of Health for the Lagos Colony, recognized as the father of public health in Nigeria. He enrolled as a medical student at the University of Glasgow in 1913 and graduated in 1918. Before entering the colonial civil service on his return to Nigeria, he had established himself as a private Medical practitioner at Abeokuta. Ladipo started the first School of Hygiene in Nigeria, at Yaba in Lagos, in 1920.
    With the outbreak of bubonic plague in 1924, Ladipo revamped port health Duties and made sanitary inspection a vital instrument for the control of communicable diseases using entirely the Nigerian sanitary inspectors. The first school health services in Nigeria started the following year. Ladipo is remembered for pioneering school healthy services with school inspections and the vaccination of children. He died in 1953 and a street in Ikeja has subsequently been named after him. The sacrifices and exemplary conduct of Dr. Isaac Ladipo Oluwole one of the first indigenous doctors Nigeria produced earned him the title Father of Public health in Nigeria. Click Here to read More

    Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti
    Olikoye Ransome-Kuti was born in Ijebu Ode on 30 December 1927, in present-day Ogun State, Nigeria. His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a prominent political campaigner and women's rights activist, and his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers. His brother Fela would grow up to be a popular musician and a founder of Afrobeat, while another brother, Beko, would become an internationally known doctor and political activist. Ransome-Kuti attended Abeokuta Grammar School, University of Ibadan and Trinity College Dublin (1948–54). He was a house physician at General Hospital, Lagos. He was senior lecturer at the University of Lagos from 1967 to 1970 and appointed Director of child health at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos and became Head of Department of Paediatrics from 1968 to 1976. He was professor of paediatrics at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos until his retirement in 1988.] He worked as senior house officer at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and as a locum in Hammersmith Hospital in the 1960s.
    In the 1980s, he joined the government of General Ibrahim Babangida as the health minister. In 1983 along with two other Nigerians, he founded one of Nigeria's largest health focused NGOs - Society for Family Health Nigeria primarily concerned with family planning and child health services at the time. In 1986, he conveyed word of Nigeria's first AIDS case, a 14-year-old girl who had been diagnosed with HIV. He was minister until 1992, when he joined the World Health Organization as its Deputy Director-General.
    He held various teaching positions, including a visiting professorship at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University's school of hygiene and public health. He wrote extensively for medical journals and publications. He won both the Leon Bernard Foundation Prize and the Maurice Pate Award, in 1986 and in 1990 respectively.
    He was a Public health pioneer and a distinguished physician. During his tenure as Nigeria’s minister of health, the ministry witnessed several structural and institutional reforms. He announced Nigeria’s first case of AIDS and was not ashamed to declare the cause of his brothers (Fela Anikolapo Kuti) death when he died of the disease. He laid the foundation and structure for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

    Dr. Obadiah Johnson
    A personification of the subtle wisdom and geniality of the Oyos of Western Nigeria, Obadiah Johnson came from a family distinguished for its ecclesiastical, linguistic and literary excellence. The fourth child in a family of seven, Obadiah was born at Hastings, Sierra Leone on 29 June 1849. His educational career which began in 1855 at the Day School in Hastings was continued in Nigeria in 1858 as a result of the transfer of his father to Ibadan. After a spell at Kudeti, Ibadan, Obadiah Johnson entered Faji Day School, Lagos, in 1864 where his brother, Nathaniel, was a school-teacher. Obadiah left Faji in 1868 and became apprenticed to a Lagos 282 Some early Nigerian doctors carpenter. After two years he returned to Sierra Leone to study at the Grammar School in Freetown from where he entered Fourah Bay College in 1877. When that college became affiliated to Durham University in 1876, two annual open scholarships were created to encourage the best students to go to Fourah Bay. Obadiah Johnson, who topped the list of the candidates in a competitive examination, went on to pass the B.A. degree in 1879.42 Johnson, like Davies, Horton and King, studied medicine at King's College, London. A student of exceptional brilliance, he brought off the remarkable feat of winning "all the prizes in science".42 He gained the M.R.C.S. and the L.S.A. in April 1884. After graduation, like Horton before him, Johnson was elected by the Council to the Associateship of King's College. He spent the next two years in Edinburgh, and returned to Lagos in 1886. Johnson spent a year in private practice in Lagos, and another as medical officer of health in Sherbo, Sierra Leone. He then returned to Lagos at the invitation of Governor Moloney, who had wanted to bring an African into the colonial medical service of Lagos. Dr. Johnson, with his glowing testimonials and many diplomas seemed the right man for the position. Johnson wrote a thesis on "West African therapeutics" in 1889 for which he was awarded the postgraduate M.D. of Edinburgh University. He described the medicine traditionally practised among West Africans "who have had no English education". Johnson wrote from his own experiences and from his first-hand knowledge of Sierra Leone and its neighbouring areas and more especially of Lagos and "Yoruba country" where he practised on his return from Europe. Medicine men were "botanists"; but how in spite of their lack of scientific education, they knew what herbs to use for particular maladies puzzled Johnson.


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