Obinna's story

I was part of a medical team that supported Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in North-East Nigeria. I was working in the emergency room and intensive care unit providing critical care to paediatric emergencies. In particular, I was looking after children who had fled armed conflict. It was here that I was convinced Public Health was the way to go to progress my career. 


I had a mandate to provide emergency primary health care as part of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) working in one of the newly liberated areas formally occupied by Boko Haram. As scary as this task was, failure was not an option for me. I was the only medical doctor deployed to the town of Banki. I had to establish a functional healthcare clinic, build a team and provide essential healthcare to a population of over 23,000. A lot of lives depended on me to carry out this task well. 

It took me three months, with the help of the Nigeria military, to set up an emergency unit with a pharmacy section, out-patient consultation area, maternity unit and much more. We were working to stabilize health within the refugee camps and nine months of hard work later I was treating over 45,000: mostly vulnerable women, children and elderly members of the public. 

We would work tirelessly in secured parameters with no specific work hours as I was always on standby for all emergencies. By August 2017 the refugee camp’s health needs had relatively stabilised. So, I decided to move to North-West Nigeria to support the European Union-funded, Maternal New-born Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project. I am currently working as a child survival and development consultant. 

I chose to study Public Health because the course is beneficial to my current career aspirations. With this course I will gain a broader perception of health and it will allow me to address the primary health care disease burden here as well as water hygiene and sanitation, child protection and a lot more. 

For me it has been a great experience and honour to be part of this academic community. The shared experience around the module discussions have been a great learning platform. It has been wonderful speaking to my course mates across the globe.

I am very passionate about maternal and child health especially around improving access to high impact primary health care for those living in rural areas. I hope to apply the new concepts I am learning to my work both in the emergency departments and development here and globally in the future. 

I have been able to use the modules I am learning in my real-life work experiences which is amazing and makes studying a lot easier!

I use the course every day especially with my development work and system strengthening. 

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