UNIZIK DVC, Prof. Ikechebelu adds another feather

By Emma Chinenye

Following his outstanding contributions to medicine specialties, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu has been elected Foundation Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria.

Ikechebelu is among eminent Nigerian academics and medical practitioners that will be inaugurated on 29th July 2021 as the Foundation fellows of the academy at a special ceremony to be witnessed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire in Lagos.

In the letter conveying the election of Prof. Ikechebelu as Fellow of the Academy, the President of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru noted that the UNIZIK DVC had “made outstanding achievements and honorific contributions in Medicine specialty” and deserved to be elected Fellow, a rare privilege for academics and medical practitioners.

Prof. Ashiru said Ikechebelu fulfilled all the requirements set out by the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Medicine Specialties and was therefore found fitting to be so honoured by the Academy.

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The UNIZIK Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) holds a first degree in Medicine & Surgery and postgraduate degrees in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Minimal Access Surgery (Gynae Endoscopy) and Human Reproduction (In-Vitro Fertilization) from the University of Nigeria and other reputable medical institutions in Nigeria and abroad.

He is also a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fertility Expert, Gynaecological Endoscopy Surgeon and Chairman and Chief Examiner, Faculty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, West African College of Surgeons.

He is the pioneer President, Association of Gynaecological Endoscopy Surgeons (AGES) of Nigeria.

Apart from pioneering the establishment of operative laparoscopy surgery, Prof. Ikechebelu has trained well over 300 medical doctors (Consultants and Residents) in endoscopy surgery as course director of the premier endoscopy training facility in Nigeria – Life Institute for Endoscopy.

Considered the father of the in-vitro fertilisation in Anambra State, Ikechebelu established the Assisted Reproductive Technology Services in Anambra State through which he has delivered over 300 babies via in-vitro fertilisation at Life Fertility Centres of Specialist Hospital Nnewi and Life International hospital Awka.

A well acknowledged scholar in women related medicine, the DVC has published over 150 research articles in respected international as well as Nigerian medical journals. He was elected the DVC (Administration) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka at the 204th Meeting of the Senate of the university about six months ago.

Before becoming the DVC, Prof Ikechebelu, was the Director, Academic Planning of the university and the Chairman of the COVID-19 Response Team of the university.

This recognition of Ikechebelu comes at a time when concerns about declining fertility among Nigerian women as well as men has become a great concern. It also coincides with when the use of endoscopic surgery is gaining attention.

With experts like him and the growing number of professionals in the areas of human production and endoscopic surgery, Nigerians may as well be getting into the phase where they can easily access these services in Nigeria at very friendly costs. This will go a long way in saving Nigeria the huge foreign exchange spent by couples that troop out of the country to seek in-vitro fertilisation services. It will also bring joy to homes that had for long yearned to have their own biological children as well as save marriages that had often broken down because couples could not have their own children.

Endoscopic surgery has also helped a lot in improving medical surgeries, which for a long time had been a dreaded area for patients. Now patients are saved the apprehension caused by fear that surgery meant going under the knife of the doctor.
With endoscopic surgery, even advanced surgeries can be conducted on patients without the pains of having the patients’ bodies cut up and sewn back.

Healing time is vastly improved and the sometimes surgeon’s error that come with the tedious process of the old surgery is avoided due to improved visualisation and more lives are saved. What is left is for more investment to be made by government in endoscopic surgery so that it will be affordable to millions of the ordinary citizens who need them but could not pay the current high costs.

The registration of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria was approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Companies allied Matters act of 1990.

The academy derives its membership from Basic Medical Sciences, Basic Clinical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences, and Emeritus Fellows. Members can also be non-medical practitioners in the related Medical Specialties.

Prof Ogunniyi Adesola, the Editor of the Inaugural Committee of the Academy, said the objectives of the academy include promoting excellence in Medical Research and Education, the application of research in Medicine and the enhancement of human health and welfare. A research-based institution, the academy also has honorary membership.

Its members are elected based on their outstanding professional achievements and contributions to health matters. It is considered an honour and a commitment to service in academic affairs to be elected a member of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria.

The fellows are elected through a process of thorough deliberations and due diligence. They are mainly eminent and outstanding scholars who have made landmark contributions in Medicine and Medical Specialties as Foundation Fellows. And they come from across Nigeria and the Diaspora.

The Academy of Medicine Specialties encourages its fellows and experts to offer continuous academic and professional leadership in health and medical challenges facing the country and enhance the science, art, theory, and practice of Medicine.

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