First Lady of Kebbi Sate, Her Excellency Dr Zainab Bagudu is the most recent personality on the cover of BusinessDay OffDuty Magazine.
In her interview she talks about her early days, being a certified Paeditrician and her role in fighting cancer through the Medicaid Radio-Diagnostic Centre Abuja.
Here’s an excerpt of her interview:
On her early days
My best educational years were in Queens College, Lagos. I enjoyed my education, I made wonderful lifelong friends and it prepared me for life generally. I then proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Upon completion of my MBBS, I proceeded to the UK where I was able to specialise in Paediatrics. My parents were extremely supportive and remained my role models in life. My husband is the Governor of Kebbi State and I now have a new role as mother to about 3.4 Million indigenes of Kebbi.
On her choice to become a Paediatrician:
Medicine for me was a welcome ‘accident’. I had straight As for my O levels. My uncle who is now late marched me to the vice chancellor who decided there were too few female doctors from northern Nigeria and crossed off the Bsc Economics I had intended to study (which I had chosen because another uncle was an economist and I wanted to be like him). I smiled and that was it. I registered and joined the pre-med classes. I thought more about Paediatrics and made a more informed decision.
On the Success Story behind the Medicaid Radio-Diagnostic Centre Abuja:
After returning from the UK, I joined the Garki Hospital which was just starting under a new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. So I was their pioneer Paediatrician. It was quite interesting and challenging to begin with. There was a lot of work to do. I started noticing gaps in our practices, and adequate and reliable diagnostic support was greatly needed. It was quite frustrating to get reports that didn’t tally with clinical judgment constantly. Sometimes, I even get results totally opposite to my clinical judgment. The labs at the time were contracted out; though this has now been improved and the labs are more modern and reliable. I carried out a small survey with a colleague and the result was Medicaid Radio-Diagnostic Centre. So it was as a response to the gap at the time in Abuja as well as to serve as a support centre for the many brilliant doctors in the town.
On her role in fighting cancer
October is a month set aside to commemorate breast cancer every year. However, we at MCF have decided to use the month to create awareness on most forms of cancers in Nigeria. The concert is just one of the activities we do to mark the event. We organize campaigns and screening programs to sensitize people on early detection of Cancer. This has been very successful; as many people have benefited from these activities through early detection, diet interventions, physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. It is in line with this that we have successfully organised several cancer screening and awareness outreach events in the past and more are underway in the future. The basic reason of our success is entirely on the individuals and organisations on whose kindness and support we have leaned on to achieve so much.
On her views on women empowerment and girl child education:
Education is very important for every child whether boy or girl. There was a time when people thought that it was not necessary to educate girls. Now we have begun to realize that girls’ education is essential. The modern age is the age of awakening of girls. They are trying to compete with men in all spheres of life. There are many people who oppose girls’ education. They say that the proper sphere of girls is the home. So, they argue that the money spent on girl’s education is wasted. This view is wrong, because girl’s education can bring about a silent resolution in the society. Even after so many programs and policies of the government, we are still lagging behind in providing education to the girl child. The problem here is not in implementation but in the level of commitment of people in general. Until we create awareness amongst people about the benefits of women education, all these programs would not bring about the desired result. We fail to understand that men and women are two sides of the same coin-a girl is as much a part of the society as is a boy. They all represent the future of tomorrow. They both need to be given equal opportunities for the wholesome growth of the nation.
For the full interview, grab a copy of today’s BusinessDay Newspaper.
Photo Credit: Twitter/Kemi Ajumobi