Thought Leadership

1st Set of Graduates from a Private Medical School in Africa

On the 31st of July 2007, the Igbinedion University , Nigeria’s first private university graduated its first set of 29 medical students. Established in 1999, it is located in Okada, 30 minutes by road from Benin City. Having been granted their first accreditation for the basic medical sciences in 2002, these 1st set of students have been in university for 8 years. There was widespread celebration in the school in February 2007 when the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria granted them final accreditation for their MBBS programme, becoming the first private university in Nigeria and probably Africa to graduate students. Kudos to Ewemade, Amaka, Olayemi, Titilope, Mimi etc etc for holding it out.

The challenge for Igbinedion and other private universities is to maintain the standards. Nigeria needs doctors…but only good ones.

Remember… “to preserve the finest traditions of your calling and long to experience the joy of healing those who seek your help”… well all other aspects of the Hippocratic oath.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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