A team of highly skilled doctors from the United States of America arrives the country this weekend for a medical mission at Ile Ife, Osun State. The 20-man collaborative team of physicians, surgeons and medical support staff is made up mostly of alumnus of the Obafemi Awolowo University, formally University of Ife.
Among other things, the week-long activities for the medical mission include free medical clinics at the Ooni’s palace; and a full day of “Campus” clinics, health fair, preventive/public health activities, including screenings for diabetes, hypertension and some communicable diseases.
According to the schedule, while the physicians are running the clinics, there will be simultaneous surgeries at designated centres within the University teaching hospital by the US-based surgeons and their Ife counterparts on cataract patients and laparoscopic procedures using top-notch, state of the art and cutting edge technology equipment brought from the US. According to the team, all surgeries will be conducted for free.
Also members of the team interested in teaching and giving lectures will be provided the opportunity to do so at the university.
The team led by Dr Olabisi Jagun, who describes her role as “a fortunate one” is sponsored by the Mercysaidno Foundation (an Atlanta-based Nigerian Philanthropic organization), Ifemed Alumni Association (USA), member physicians, Friends of Ifemed Physicians and Ife Ooye North America Association (IONA).
“Our team is very excited and ready to go, and we are grateful for the wonderful opportunity to give back,” says Jagun.
She explains that “all our physicians and surgeons are brilliant and distinguished in their field of expertise; a few of them are leading world experts; they have all been vetted and their licenses are current.”
It is estimated that during the mission, the team will see between 5,000 to 10,000 patients and hand out over $150,000 worth of free medications and prescriptions.”
Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, who is planning many initiatives for the insitution, says the medical mission is a great thing to happen to the university and Ile-Ife city.
“It fills me with joy to see distinguished physicians and surgeons in the United States remember home for this kind gesture. The Council and the entire university are proud of this wonderful support.”
In fact, in a recent exclusive interview with TheNEWS before his 70th birthday, Dr. Ogunbiyi revealed: “We are also going to tap into the Ife alumni association. Ife has a number of fantastic alumni in the world. In this country alone, five banks are headed by Ife alumni: These are chairman of First Bank, Awosika; the MD of Ecobank; former Chairman of Access Bank and others. I can’t even mention the number of lawyers and other professionals in the country, many of them. What we are trying to do is to tap into that very fertile base…. For instance, we are going to ask the alumni to build a new business school in Ife. We also want to build a medial college in Ife which is not there at the moment. Again if you look at it, 30 per cent of the great journalists in this country are alumni of Ife. I can give you their names here, many of them, from Dapo Oloryomi, from Babafem Ojudu, just name them. Kunle Ajibade, are all former students of Ife.
He added: “We are planning to meet Ife alumni abroad. There is a big alumni association in London, we are going to meet in London one evening and talk to them. Look we are going to do something majorly in Ife. Then when I leave London, we are going to meet them over dinner, we shall have one either in Washington or New York, one in Chicago, we have one more in either Atlanta or Texas or Houstin, Texas. So once we do that, four major stops abroad, we are going to ask them to do something for us…”
The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a leading federal government owned and operated Nigerian university at the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State. It was founded in 1961 and classes commenced in October 1962 as the University of Ife by the regional government of Western Nigeria, and was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University on 12 May 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo , first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, whose brainchild the university was.