“Given the foregoing feats, if this international and world acclaimed otorhinolaryngologist isn’t rated as the modern father of otorhinolaryngology in West Africa, then I wonder who else. After all, his trainees are now heading most of the otorhinolaryngology units in Nigeria and West Africa subregion” Eze C. Eze
Amidst the disturbing trend of strangulating security challenges ranging from the nefarious activities of Boko Haram and the horrifying butcheries of citizens by their ISWAP counterparts to the gory scenes of carnage by bandits and unknown gun men, the statistics of unemployed youths and graduates in Nigeria has continued to rise and has in fact, taken a dreadful posture. In all honesty, a critical development infrastructure such as electricity which is cardinal to enhance industrialization and create employment opportunities is obviously lacking.
The position averred above is not a fanciful tale of a monster in the woods, but true in all respects. The result of the many unsuccessful efforts by successive governments in tackling that challenge is overwhelming genuine efforts at driving the economic resurgence and stability of the 7th most populous nation in the world.
“…It is a fact that the issue of insecurity in the nation has invincible social sponsors like poverty and unemployment; these contributes to frustration and anger that can result to one taking to armed robbery, kidnapping or pitching tent with agitators calling for dissolution of the nation under the guise of revolutionaries thereby creating more panic in the society.” Boma M.M. Pepple
What is very crucial to Nigeria and Nigerians at this period is not to point out the reasons or factors behind the insecurity currently bedeviling our dear nation but proffering possible solutions thereto.
How do we once again regain the unity and brotherhood that Nigeria and Nigerians were noted for at the period of our Independence in 1960? How do we make a Northerner win an election in Enugu State or Oyo State and an Igbo or Yoruba man win election in Kano State and how do we once again see ourselves as brothers and sisters not minding our religion or tribe?
Although this treatise is not about insecurity, but it has become imperative to search for solutions to this menace that is shaking the very foundation of our nation and threatening our cooperate existence.
This essence of this piece therefore is to congratulate and commend the Board and Management Team of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Bida in Niger State, Nigeria for taking the bold step to offer a practical way out of the current lack of trust amongst Nigerians by honoring a great Nigerian whose love for humanity and aspiration towards a better and greater Nigeria is never in doubt, Prof Onyekwere George Benjamin Nwaorgu.
At this period when it seems that the country Nigeria is divided on the lines of religion and tribal inclinations, for an establishment managed mostly by Northerners and based in the Northern section of this country to honour an Igbo man from the Eastern part of Nigeria, who is more a Yourba man than any other section of this country, as his wife is Yoruba, should be an event to be celebrated by all Nigerians.
History made as FMC Bida honours PRPF OGB Nwaorgu
“Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.” Kevin Hart.
Kevin Hart aptly captured who Prof. OGB Nwaorgu is – as somebody whose inputs to enhance his field cannot be overemphasized. His steady unpublished efforts to distinguish himself as an outstanding Medical Personnel is a path to thread on.
This may have resulted to the making of History on Wednesday 11th August, 2021 at the Federal Medical Center, Bida in Niger state, when an edifice completed and equipped during the tenure of the former Chief Medical Director of the institution Dr. MA Usman was commissioned and named after Prof. OGB Nwaorgu, in an event described by many as epochal.
The event which filled the ancient town of Bida with ecstasies of happiness witnessed Prof. OGB Nwaorgu, a renowned professor of otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery honoured.
The facility was named after the professor in honor of his numerous contributions to the training of otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery, particularly in Nigeria and across many other African countries. The Professor serves as trainer and mentor for many trainees and fellows/consultants in the field of Otorhinolaryngology including the former Medical Director of FMC, Bida, who has deemed it fit to name the ENT block after him.
The Essence of the Facility
This new facility will improve health care service delivery, training and research in the field of otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery for the people of Niger state and its environs.
Profile of Prof OGB Nwaorgu
Prof Onyekwere George Benjamin Nwaorgu, a native of Umuodagu Ntu, Ngor-Okpala, Imo State, was born on April 23, 1959 to the family of Mr Paulinus Nkemjika and late Mrs Maria-Celine Adanma Nwaorgu. A former student of St John’s Primary school, Imerienwe; Owerri Grammar School, Imerienwe, and Federal School of Arts and Science, Victoria Island, Lagos. He obtained the MBBS degree from the University of Ibadan in June 1985.
His working career commenced with employment as an house officer at the then General Hospital, Aba (Now Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba); NYSC medical officer at the Tombia Health Centre, Delga LGA., Rivers State between 1986 and 1987; employment as a Medical Officer, Alvan Ikoku College of Education Medical Centre, Owerri in 1988.
He had his specialist training as an otorhinolaryngologist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu from December 1988 and passed his fellowship examination in April 1995. He became a fellow, West African College of Surgeons in 1995, and a year later Fellow, National Medical College of Nigeria. He was appointed Honorary Consultant Otorhinolaryngologist by the Board of the University College Hospital, Ibadan in August 1995 and has been serving in this capacity till date.
His teaching career began with his appointment as a Lecturer 1 in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan June 1995; promoted Senior Lecturer in October 1998; Reader in October 2003 and professor in October, 2006.
He is a professional through and true. He belongs to several professional organisations. He is a member of the Nigerian Medical Association, International Fellow, American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery 2007 to date; Fellow, American-Austrian Foundation since April, 2008; member, European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (EAACI) from 2008 to date; Vice-President, Otolaryngological Society of Nigeria, from November 2015.
He also served as Secretary, Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons between January 2007 and July 2011; and more recently as Chairman, Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons from July 2011 to March 2015. He coordinated yearly update and revision courses for Parts I & II fellowship candidates in otorhinolaryngology for the Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons from 2001 to 2006.
His Junior Sister, Evang.Mrs. Ada Chioma Henrietta Chukwuemeka-Eze Throws More Light on Prof OGB Nwaorgu and His Struggle to The Top
Evangelist (Mrs.) Ada Chioma Henrietta Eze (Snr) in a text message she sent to Prof OGB Nwaorgu in the morning of the Inaugural Lecture presentation gives us an insight on how this man of the moment struggled not only to the top but one of the best in the world in the field he resolved to pursue, “My dearly beloved brother, PROF. OGB NWAORGU, I greet you this morning in the name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
The long awaited day is here. I call on God, His Son and the Holy Spirit to please go before you and do what THEY know best to do in the life of a man that has laboured. My most senior brother (Opeem), do remember those old days that you trekked to St. JOHN AMAFOR IMERIENWE, the TRINITY played THEIR role.
When you went to Owerri Grammar school the TRINITY did not abandon you. Your amazing performance especially in ALGEBRA, STATISTICS gave you the name ZAZA and SIR OKOROJO. You went to Federal School of Arts/Science where you nearly ran mad in the pursuit of academic excellence and God helped you. While in the university, the TRINITY were there with you. You went to SAGBAMA and TOMBIA, ABA, ENUGU for greener pasture and now UCH Ibadan and the TRINITY are still with you.
I salute you and congratulate ahead of the lecture my brother because you have won. I am proud of you and all your feats and return all the glory to our Great God”.
Truly and truly the TRINITY as prayed by this great woman of God was with Prof Nwaorgu during his Inaugural Lecture as he held all his audience spell bound in a lecture termed as the needed tonic for the Revolution In The Field Of Otorhinolaryngology In Nigeria!
What Is Otorhinolargyngology All About?
For avoidance of doubt, medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing ©Farlex 2012, Encyclopedia and Wikipedia all define otorhinolaryngology also known as otolaryngology as, “the combined specialties of diseases of the ear, nose, pharynx, and larynx; including diseases of the head and neck, tracheobronchial tree, and esophagus.” The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright 2007 defines it as the study and management of diseases of the ear, nose and throat (ENT).
Prof Nwaorgu in his Inaugural Lecture on July 14, 2016 the second from the Department of Otorhinolaeyngology after 26 years since Prof GTA IIjaduola described, as a doyen of Otorhinolaeyngology, delivered his lecture in 1990. That inaugural lecture was also the first to be delivered in the West African sub-region by a Professor of Otorhinolaeyngology. The title of his lecture then was “That All May Hear”.
According to Prof Nwaorgu, Otorhinolaeyngology, Head & Neck Surgery or as it is more often called, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery is a branch of Medicine involved in the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ear, nose as well as related aspects of the head and neck region. It is worth noting that the Department of Otorhinolaeyngology of the University of Ibadan is the oldest in Nigeria.
The Professor posited: “My research interests/focus has been mainly in the areas of laryngology, head and neck surgery. Over the years, I have addressed the issue of tumours/masses of the head and neck and have described the diagnostic features and rewarding treatment modalities which are novel/modification of treatment modalities. I have also raised the awareness as to the peculiarities of three important malignancies in the specialty in our environment, namely: (a) nasopharyngeal cancer, (b) sinonasal tumour, and (c) laryngeal cancer.
“I have shown in my studies with others how some of the aesthetic and functional restoration challenges facing the otorhinolaryngologist can be resolved by modification of existing techniques. My works have also increased knowledge, awareness and management of upper airway obstruction and corrosive ingestion, which were often misdiagnosed and poorly or inappropriately treated. This is in addition to some of our published works that have highlighted the co-existence of some congenital external ear lesions with brainchiogenic cysts/fistula, and have shown how meticulous search for these apparently hidden lesions can be beneficial.
“Also over the past few years of my employment in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital as an otorhinolaryngologist, I have addressed issues on hearing loss amongst, other aspects of neurotology. It is worth nothing that my brother’s case, and other patients I have encountered during my residency, led to my special interest in laryngology, head and neck surgery and thus, choice of the title of this inaugural lecture, Steady Neck, Stable Head, and Unobstructed Throat: The Otorhinolaryngolologist at Work.”
To read more about Prof Nwaorgu’s efforts in improving the study of Otorhinolaryngology google “Prof Nwaorgu: The Modern Father Of Otorhinolaryngology In Nigeria Recommends Establishment Of Functional World-Class Centres For Treating Head, Neck Cancers In Nigeria by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze” and you will understand why this great and visionary Professor is termed as the modern Father of Otorhinolaryngology in West Africa.
Recommendations for Accurate Diagnosis for Treating Head and Neck Diseases
The treatment modalities for head and neck cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Their successful management depends on accurate diagnosis, tumour stage, and selection of appropriate treatment modality with close post-operative follow-up.
I have highlighted above some of the major challenges of management of our patients which include late disease presentation and acceptance of surgical treatment by patients and their families, initial self-medication, poverty and illiteracy. Thus, a targeted and well-coordinated health education and awareness programme for ORL, diseases and their prevention at the community level through the various media and even religious organisations should be pursued, with the support of appropriate and relevant agencies.
Inclusion of therapy for head and neck cancers in the existing National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria will likely encourage early presentation to the ORL specialist, while also reducing default of treatment.
It is desirable that functional world-class centres for the management of head and neck cancers are established in the six geopolitical zones of the country. Programmes aimed at creating awareness and encouraging immunisation against Human Papilloma Virus and other infective agents will go a long way in prevention of the infection and other agents that may result in neck infections and abscess.
Prof OGB Nwaorgu the Modern Father of Otorhinolaryingology in West Africa and Expansion of This Special Field of Medicine
Prof Nwaorgu assumed duty as an academic staff of the University of Ibadan, his alma mater, in June 1995. Barely 10-months afterwards, he found himself as the only academic staff in the department. This was by no means an enviable status! He had medical students on rotation through the department and trainee resident doctors to look after. Two of his trainees (Drs A.A. Adeosun and A.O.A Ogunleye) were later employed in 1996 to assist him train more fellows: Prof Lasisi & Dr Onakoya, who them in December, 2000 and January 2001 respectively. Dr A.OA. Ogunleye later died in an air crash in 2006.
With these seven staff, Nwaorgu was able to train many otolaryngolodists for Nigeria and the sub-region: Prof B.M. Ahma (UMTH Maiduguri), Prof. K.R. Iseh (immediate past Head, ORL Department, UDUTH, Sokoto), Prof A.D. Dunmade, ORL Dept. UITH, Ilorin), Prof T.S. Ibekwe (Head ORL Dept. UATH, Abuja), Dr Aminu Bakare (Ass. Prof. & MD NECC, Kaduna), Dr A.S. Adoga and Dr A.A. Adoga both brothers who are now Readers at JUTH, Jos, Dr L Onotari (Reader, UPTH Port Harcourt), etc).
Prof OGBN have contributed significantly to the development of his specialty in the sub-region, having served four years each as secretary and chairman respectively of the faculty of otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons. He has also served as member of Faculty Board in both the West African College of Surgeons and National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.
His administrative responsibilities in University of Ibadan include the following:
Coordinator, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, April 1996 to December 1999; Acting Head, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, January 2000 to April 2002 and then June 2007 till August 2009; Professor and Head of Otorhinolaryongology between August 2011 and July 2015.
In addition, he is or has served on the following committees and in the following capacities in the College of Medicine and University, University of Ibadan; Postgraduate Coordinator and Member of Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology representative at the Faculty of Clinical Sciences Committee on Continued Medical Education; Faculty of Clinical Sciences representative on the College of Medicine Board of Survey; Member, College of Medicine Ad-Hoc Committee on Fund-raising; Member, Faculty of Clinical Sciences; Appointments and promotions committee member; Business Committee of Senate, University of Ibadan; Chairman, Board of Health, University Health Services University of Ibadan since September 2013.
Prof Nwaorgu is a regular reviewer of several articles in general and specialty journals. In his own right, he is a well-published researcher, teacher and clinical specialist who have successfully supervised 34 postgraduate residents’ research works. Some of his supervised students are now professors scattered all over Nigeria, including one who is presently the Chief Medical Director in a teaching hospital. Through his well-known researches in the field of otorhinolaryngology, and head and neck surgery, he has 120 publications to his credit, including published abstracts and 112 full length original articles in peer review journals.
A former UICC World Cancer Congress Scholar; former Visiting International Scholar Simmon Cooper Cancer Institute, Springfield Illinois, and International Fellow American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He has attended over 25 international conferences and several workshops in and outside of Nigeria where he presented high quality papers. He obtained a postgraduate certificate in epidemiology from the World Health Organisation in February, 2000.
This former Professorial Consultant ORL Surgeon to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, between January 2011 and December 2014; as well as a Visiting Professorial Consultant ORL Surgeon to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada since January 2013 serves as an examiner of the Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology fellowship examinations of the National Postgraduate Medical College and West African College of Surgeons. He was the Chief Examiner for the Faculty of ORL, West African College of Surgeons Fellowship Examinations from October 2011 to April 2015.
Prof Nwaorgu is a man of many parts, a man of true faith, a devout Catholic who was ordained a Knight of the ancient and noble order of St. John International (KSJ) in 2003. A truly detribalised gentleman, who is happily married to Adenike Nwaorgu in a union that is blessed with three lovely children, namely: Ayomide Uchenna, Olufemi Victoria and Chimdinma Emmanuella Nwaorgu.
Those That Attended the Event
Among the many dignitaries present in this august occasion was HRH (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar, CFR Etsu Nupe and chairman Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, who was ably represented by Pharmacist Yahaya Aliyu Maiyaki, Maiyaki Nupe. Other dignitaries present included Is’haq Usman Sarkin Shanun Jere (Board Chairman, FMC, Bida), Dr. Mohammed Aminu Usman, Lafiyan Nupe (the outgoing Medical Director FMC, Bida), Dr. Abubakar Usman (Head of Clinical Services FMC, Bida), Dr. Aliyu Umar (Executive Director NCCRI, Badeggi), Mr. Musa A. Ladan (Head of Administration FMC, Bida) to mention but a few. Dr. Akande Funsho accompanied Prof. OGB Nwaorgu to the event from UCH Ibadan.
Given the foregoing feats, if this international and world acclaimed otorhinolaryngologist isn’t rated as the modern father of otorhinolaryngology in West Africa, then I wonder who else. After all, his trainees are now heading most of the otorhinolaryngology units in Nigeria and West Africa subregion
I therefore commend and congratulate the Board and Management of the Federal Medical Centre Bida for given this great recognition to a man who well deserve it and for showing Nigerians the path we can explore to come out from the present insecurity bedevilling our dear country.
Let me also congratulate Prof. Onyekwere George Benjamin NWAORGU for this special recognition by the Management of Federal Medical Centre, BIDA for commissioning and dedicating for practice at the institution and most importantly for naming it after you. This is surely in recognition of your immeasurable contributions to the development of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery in Nigeria and West Africa.
I congratulate and wish you greater heights and more recognitions in life even as I pray that God will cause some of the World recognised Health Institutions to recognise and accord you your rightful place amongst the very greats in the field of Medicine.
God bless you my brother in all your future endeavours
EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org,