For her contributions in the medical profession particularly her roles towards the reduction of infant mortality in the country through various innovative childcare interventions and for the commitment and professionalism with which she has practiced medicine for over four decades and mentored the best in the field of paediatrics, Prof. Ifeoma Egbuonu is ANAMBRA PERSON OF THE WEEK.
Prof. Ifeoma Egbuonu was born to the family of Chief Patrick and Chief Mrs Janet Mokelu OON, from Oraifite, Ekwusigo LGA. She attended Queen’s School, Enugu, NIGERCOL Enugu, and the University of Ibadan graduating with MB.BS. in 1971. She worked at UNTH Enugu 1972-1975 and transferred to the then Anambra state Ministry of Health. Her residency training was at UCH Ibadan 1976-1979 and Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh 1982-1983. She obtained the fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College in Paediatrics in 1984 and the fellowship of the West African College of Physicians in 1986.
She had a stint in the Ministry of Health as a specialist and later consultant Paediatrician at the General Hospital Onitsha covering Iyi-Enu Hospital Ogidi and St. Charles Borromeo Hospital Onitsha and Waterside Maternity Hospital, Onitsha.
Prof. Egbuonu later joined Nnamdi Azikiwe University in 1993 and rose to the rank of Professor of Paediatrics in 2005. She contributed creditably to the University and the Teaching Hospital and to Medical training at undergraduate and post graduate levels. She is an examiner to several medical schools the National Postgraduate Medical College & West African College of Physicians.
As one of the doyens of medical profession, Prof Egbuonu has served in and outside Nigeria notably as: Member and Chairman Anambra State Branch of Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria 1987-1992, Past President Paediatric Association Nigeria 1995-1998, Member Standing Committe of International Society of Tropical Paediatrics (1996-1999), Patron and Member, Board of Trustees of Several professional groups and Associations including the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Queen’s School Enugu Old Girl’s Association, College Treasurer, West African College of Physicians. 2005-2009, College Vice President, Chairman Nigeria Chapter, West African College of Physicians. 2009-2013, College President and West African College of Physicians 2017-2018 (the first female to be so elected since the inception of the college in 1976). In February, 2020, she was inducted as one of the Foundational Fellows, Nigerian Academy of Medicine.
Prof. Ifeoma Egbuonu has equally contributed qualitatively to the promotion of Child Life and Health through Primary Health Care Zone A Consultant and the Baby Friendly Initiative as a Master Trainer through consultancies for UNICEF (Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia), WHO, Ministries of Health at Federal, State and Local Government levels in the health zones of Nigeria.
Currently, she is a Visiting Professor Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka. Prof. Egbuonu was married to Late Dr. Francis Egbuonu Umuezopi, Orafite. The marriage is blessed with children and grandchildren.