Tribute to first female Provost of College of Medicine:
Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun.
By Abraham Adeniran Ariyo
It is with enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of Professor Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun as the new and first female Provost of Nigeria’s premier Medical School, The College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, effective August 1st, 2020.
She will be the first female and half of the only couple to serve as Provost of this prestigious college in its 72-year history. Her husband, Professor AO Omigbodun, served as Provost from 2006-2010.
Professor Olayinka Omigbodun has ‘First’ in her DNA. She is nee Victor-Banjo, the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Victor Adebukunola Banjo, the first Director of the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers.
She was born in Ibadan, Western Nigeria, on February 11th, 1963. She attended St. Louis Grammar School (1972-78) for her Secondary School and International School (1978-80), for her Higher School Certificate. In 1980, she gained admission to The College of Medicine, graduating in 1985.
After Internship and Youth corps, she returned to Academia, with her eyes set extremely high. This ambition is apparent in her decision to train under the tutelage and follow the footstep of our Late Emeritus Professor M.O. Olatawura, Nigeria’s first Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She laced her shoes, picked up her gird loin and went to work. With dedication, hard work and perseverance, the sky appears to be her limit.
First, she trained as a Resident in Psychiatry at UCH (1987-1990), then at the Lancaster Moor Hospital and Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn, both in United Kingdom (1990-92). She completed further training at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States (1993-96).
In 1997, she returned to the Psychiatry Department at UCH and began ascending the lectureship ranks as Lecturer in Psychiatry (1997-2000), Senior Lecturer (2000-2004) and Reader (2004-2008).
In 2008, she blazed the way to becoming the First Female Professor of Psychiatry in Nigeria. In 2009, she continued the march, becoming the pioneering female Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2009-2016) and the Head of the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (2015-2019). Again, she was the first female to occupy this position.
She successfully started the first Child and Adolescent Mental Health service at UCH, the first of its kind in any teaching hospital in Nigeria. Further, she served as the first Director of the University’s John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation funded Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
She was the First President of African Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (2007-2014) and President, International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP) from 2010-2014. She remains the First and only African to hold this position in the 82-year history of this global body.
Professor Omigbodun is a shooting star and continues to rise. She has conducted research studies and has authored over 118 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts in world class Medical Journals. She has authored multiple reports and chapter contributions to Modern Textbook of Medicine in her field.
She has made enormous contributions to the health and well-being of mankind.
She continues to contribute to national and international health reports and currently serves as Technical Consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Professor Omigbodun, we are proud of your achievement. We wish you, your husband and your two children continued success as you continue the remarkable “First’ journey into the future.
Ariyo has M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C.
Interventional Cardiologist, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center
Director, HeartMasters Cardiology, Dallas, Texas