Health & Education

A committed citizen of our world

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Last week, Team LR brought you ‘Psamy Inneh, the super cool Carpenter’. His story of motivation and empowering others could not have been better received – your numerous comments, varied phone calls and emails all testify to the way you all connected with the Psamy narrative. This week, another inspiring story will be gracing our “borderless motivational space”.

A committed citizen of our world

Our guest feature this week was born to parents who were both teachers.  His Dad served as Secondary School Principal in different Federal Government Colleges until he retired, while his Mum was a Head teacher also, until her retirement. Since his parents were often transferred from one federal government school to another, he ‘grew up all over Nigeria’ – originally from the Eastern geopolitical region, he attended Federal Government College Maiduguri in the North. Next he went on to the then Mid-Western Bendel State, attending the University of Benin. His university performance could only be described in one word “stellar”. He started his Residency training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) until he left for the United Kingdom as Senior Registrar in 1991.

Following training rotations through hospitals in Yorkshire and the North East of England, he completed his specialist, research and subspecialty trainings in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2001, graduating with a Doctor of Medicine degree of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He then moved to Sheffield to take up a Consultant post, subsequently assuming a clinical academic position with the University. He was promoted to a personal Chair as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2012.

He currently runs busy clinical services that include specialised clinics in Prenatal Diagnosis and Foetal Therapy, Prematurity Prevention, and Maternal Medicine. He has particular expertise in fetal imaging and runs very popular training courses that attract national and international delegates from Ireland, the Middle East and Africa.

This man has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal papers and abstracts in top medical journals, and book chapters on topics relating to pregnancy care and Women’s health.  Some of his work has explored the factors that influence the bond between a mother and her yet-to-be-born child.  He leads many funded research projects investigating several aspects of human pregnancy. Several of his current research projects have attracted over one million pounds of grant income to the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. These include developing new ways and technologies to identify women at risk of premature birth, the single largest cause of pregnancy wastage and childhood neurological disability. Two projects are funded by UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) through the Developmental Pathways Funding Scheme, DPFS: a) Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy of the cervix (ECCLIPPx) and b) the preterm birth prediction microbiome project. His group is also developing another technique for predicting and managing premature birth, funded by the UK Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research through its Invention for Innovation scheme.

Our guest feature for this week, serves on several professional and research bodies in Women’s Health and is reviewer to major national and international reproductive health journals, research boards and charities. He headed the Education and Training Group, and serves on the Executive Board, of the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society. He is Lead Clinician of the Fetal Medicine Unit, Sheffield and until recently, a member of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Medical Technologies Advisory Committee (MTAC). Did we omit to tell you earlier that he is a trained Medico-legal expert as well, having bagged an LLM in Medical Law from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle?

This teacher of teachers surely has many skills rolled into one. This dedicated Christian, loving husband and father is today, the first Nigerian Full Academic Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the United Kingdom.

Meet Professor Dilly Okeoma C. Anumba, MBBS FWACS FRCOG MD LL.M (Medical Law). Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Honorary Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, Subspecialist in Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Academic Training Programme Director, Sheffield Medical School & South Yorkshire and Humber Deanery

Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine-Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sheffield.

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With respect to the peculiar challenges he must have encountered along his life’s  journey, he recounts that “the biggest challenge is taking on new training, new roles, new environments, and new adventures, with confidence and enthusiasm. It is also about being willing to learn from peers, superiors and juniors, every day and in every new role. It is natural to crave positive validation from others, but learning to validate oneself rather than taking too much to heart, others’ views about one. Our internal validity evolves positively from being confident in our God-given abilities. Training with humility to acquire such confidence and skills is pivotal to achieving success.  ”

 

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On what has been his driving force over the years, Professor Dilly Anumba has this to say, “I have never believed in half measures. Trying to excel in whatever I find to do has been a driving force. Knowing that God loves me and has the best plans for me has been key in every area too. I am very ambitious, but my ambition is not “raw”, in the sense that, somehow, I am content in whatever happens once I can look in my mirror and say that I have given it my jolly best.”

 

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For the many younger ones coming up, who aspire to be all that he has achieved and even greater, his message is “work hard, focus on what is important to attain your goal, be persistent, persevere, do not cut corners to achieve cheaper inferior goals, seek and grab every learning and training opportunity when they present themselves. Those opportunities may no longer be there when you desperately need them. There really is a time for everything, so make hay whilst the sun of youthful energy shines. Choose to be enthusiastic and happy in whatever you do. Be patient. Achievements will follow in due course even when it seems delayed”.

Prof. Dilly Anumba flanked by Dr E.Adukwu on the left and Mr. D. Okor on the right

Prof. Dilly Anumba flanked by Dr E.Adukwu on the left and Mr. D. Okor on the right

Finally, on how he maintains a work-life balance despite his many professional achievements, he has this to say: “Glad you ask me and not my wife! Her answer may be different! Work hard and play hard. Cherish every priceless moment you share with family and friends. Spare no effort and no expense for family and others. As it is valuable investment in their future and a lasting legacy to humanity”.

There you go dear readers, Professor Dilly Anumba, the very hardworking and very shy but high achieving and greatly inspiring specimen of humanity – Team LR guest feature for this week. One of the LR Members who worked on this article remarked, “Despite his many years away from his country of birth/origin, Professor Anumba appears to be very active and committed to not only clinical care and academics in his now adopted country, but also, he is a very active member of the Nigerian Diaspora working for national development. He is a past President of the Medical Association of Nigerians Across Great Britain (MANSAG)”. Our Chief editor replied ‘Dilly Anumba is a committed citizen of our world. Working tirelessly with his team of researchers and contributing to the welfare of women and children worldwide with ground-breaking research projects’.

In our own different ways, we can contribute our own quota as “committed citizens of our world”. All we need to do, is to discover what niche we can carve for ourselves and how we can make a difference. This discovery is not difficult to make at all because we can always very easily ask where our niche lies. If you are wondering whom to ask, then look in the mirror closest to you – that person you see therein, that’s the person to ask. Do not forget to let the comments roll in before or after you take a look in that mirror.

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