Damilola Adetunla is a valedictorian at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and receives a full scholarship at the Northeastern University. Young Adetunla heard incidents narrated by his grandmother. He remembers the story where she told him the traumatic story behind his cousin’s birth which led to the death of his aunt. The doctors made a nearly grave error in their diagnosis: They presumed her dead, and zipped her up in a body bag, when in fact she was merely unconscious. It was three hours after when the nurse walked by and realised it wasn’t really death, when she saw the body bag move. Right then, he made a promise that has led him to pursue medical school.
Nigeria is an African country on the Gulf of Guinea with many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves. However, the healthcare provision in Nigeria is a concurrent responsibility of the three tiers of government in the country. Private providers of healthcare have a visible role to play in health care delivery. The use of traditional medicine (TM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased significantly over the past few years. Adetunla believes that Nigeria’s current healthcare system is unreliable. When his grandmother died in 2016, at the age of 92, his first thought was wondering whether she were still alive in a body bag somewhere. Now, Adetunla plans to major in biology and minor in neuroscience at Northeastern University in the fall, all with the goal of going to medical school and becoming a neuroscientist.
“Being in a community where there’s so many diverse people, I get to hear stories from people from other countries and hear what medical systems are like from each part of the world, which I feel like I’ll fit right in to,” Adetunla says.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman