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MPH Public Health, Africa

In my service with the National Youth Service Corps Program in Nigeria, I soon discovered that minor ailments—some with fatal consequences—could have been prevented and many lives saved if it were not for the fact that those effected believed that they resulted from a curse by God. I was especially struck by the sight of a child with severe burns resulting from the superstitious belief that meningitis was caused by evil spirits that could only be driven away by exposure to fire. I saw children and old people alike dying because they were unaware that having a clean environment, using mosquito nets, or even taking simple anti-malaria medicine could have prevented and/or cured their ailments. I soon learned that many diseases, such as meningitis, measles, tetanus, to name a few, could be prevented by education, simply informing a community of the need for vaccinations. My pursuit of a medical degree in Nigeria and now a Masters in Public Health in America, are based on these early experiences with the Service Corps.

Since I graduated from medical school and practiced medicine in my country of origin, I feel that I am well prepared for graduate studies in epidemiology. While America is now my permanent home, my professional aspirations are all geared towards returning to Africa for long, working visits to my homeland so that I can help my people in their struggle to develop an adequate health care system, especially in terms of education and the creation of social infrastructures for the implementation of programs in preventive medicine. Science is my right hand, my spiritual expression, and the focal point of my professional and humanitarian curiosity: the investigation and critical analysis of public health issues in especially vulnerable populations. I want very much to attend your highly esteemed graduate program in public health with a concentration in epidemiology so that I will be well prepared to make the maximum contribution possible to the amelioration of the profound suffering that results from the absence of adequate preventive medicine and health care education programs both in America, and throughout the struggling African continent—especially Nigeria where I am uniquely well suited to making major contributions towards the advancement of health care systems.

Even prior to attending medical school, Public Health was my first fascination, what has long been central to my heart, at least ever since my undergraduate studies and volunteer work in my community with orphanages, old people’s homes, public waste disposal systems, prisons, elementary schools, high schools, and farms, numerous sites that I investigated as a community health researcher, studying the environmental foundations of disease transmission and the complex ways that it is also spread as a result of the simplest of life-style choices, generally grounded in the complex union of ignorance and poverty.

Finding information, listening to the peculiarities of each group, collecting and evaluating data, summarizing findings and drawing conclusions in a search for possible solutions is my life. Public Health was my central preoccupation throughout my undergraduate studies, medical school, and rotations as a practicing physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Pediatrics. My dedication to Public Health continued in my service as a medical officer in the Amen Healthcare and Empowerment Foundation and my collaboration with the Nigerian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. I desperately need the special expertise that I will gain in your program in order to help my people. On behalf of Nigeria, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your consideration of my application to your program.

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