By Matthew Denis
A Kwara-born medical consultant at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr. Ademola Adeyeye has emerged the first black African to bag European Board Certified Surgical Oncologist (Cancer Surgeon).
Dr. Adeyeye, a Consultant General Surgeon and Surgical Oncologist (cancer surgeon) with the Department of Surgery UITH Ilorin and Co-founder of Lifefount Hospital, Tanke Ilorin hails from Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
A journey Adeyeye began three years ago ended on a good note penultimate week, after rigorous training in 10 different cities and seven different countries across four continents.
Speaking to journalists in Ilorin at the weekend, he said “I am proud to finally be the first European Board certified Surgical Oncologist from Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. I am grateful to everyone especially my teachers, friends and family for all the help and support along the way.
“The training involved going to different European centres for specialisation. I spent the last three years going to UK, Spain, Australia, Germany, US and India for the training programmes.
“So at the end of the period, I wrote three exams, the first exam we had people from all over the world after which they pruned us down to 25 and only 18 of us actually made the final exam and I was the first black African to successfully pass the exam.
“It was actually a rigorous process having travelled to different countries and experienced different cultures, languages and different people. The experiences were quite challenging and also interesting but thank God that it was eventually a success,” he said.
Speaking further, Adeyeye said his wife provided him with financial support and other sacrifices in order to bring expertise care to the country.
“We have patients with cancer but nobody has really gone deep in cancer surgeon. With this, we are trying to bring in European standard of treatment into our cancer care in Africa but the challenge now is that people get to see different kinds of doctors for cancer treatment when we know that there are specialists for each kind of condition.
“We want to use this opportunity to encourage more physicians to go into this kind of training so that we can have more people in the field.”
The oncologist urged patients not to panic anytime they are diagnosed of cancer, saying the disease is treatable, curable and can be managed depending on the stage of the patient.
“The main challenge we have in this part of the world is that patients are not able to afford cancer treatment. Nigeria is ranked one of the countries with the most extremely poor people with about 85 million of the population unable to afford basic medical treatment.”
On the level of cancer awareness in Nigeria, Adeyeye called on the government to channel more facilities for cancer treatment and provide incentives for cancer patients.