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Medical community celebrates Prof Wilfred Chukudebelu at 88

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University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State.

Some people are born great, while some achieve greatness by dint of hard work. Legendary medical practitioner, Prof Wilfred Chukudebelu, formerly of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, belongs to the latter, as he rose from being the son of a school teacher to reach the pinnacle of the medical profession. It was because of his numerous contributions to society, especially in medicine and education that the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) Eastern Sector recently in Enugu, organized a public lecture entitled “Maternal Mortality in Nigeria the Journey So far,” in his honor.

Born in 1929 at Nawgu, in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, Prof Chukudebelu, attended the famous Government College, Umuahia in 1945 and later proceeded to the University College, Ibadan (then affiliated to the University of Sheffield, England) where he graduated in medicine in 1959.

Because of his love for his fatherland, the young medical doctor returned to Nigeria in 1963 and joined the General Hospital, Port-Harcourt, as consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist and later moved to General Hospital, Aba when the war broke out in 1967.

It was after the war in 1970, that he joined the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, as lecturer and honorary consultant.

Prof Wilfred Chukudebelu rose rapidly from the ranks and barely four years after his appointment as senior lecture/consultant in 1976 the renowned Gynaecologist became a professor in 1980.

Before his retirement from active service in the year 2000, the doyen of the academia, served had as the deputy provost, College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria, Enugu-Campus, head, department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National President, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria SOGON and President International College of Surgeons among others.

In the lecture to honor the erudite scholar, former dean, faculty of medical sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof Uchenna Nwagha, described maternal mortality as the death of a pregnant woman or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.


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