Nonso Egemba: The Aproko Doctor In Support Of Healthy Living
Nonso Bobby Egemba is not only saving lives at the hospital. Popularly known as Aproko Doctor on social media platforms, a lot of online users have credited their new lifestyle to him. He speaks to The Guardian Life on routine, rewards and daily living.
You started as a doctor giving out medical nuggets on Twitter and has now gained popularity off the platform. What inspired you to start on Twitter?
While a student, I got to see hundreds of people in ill health, most of these diseases could be prevented if only they knew how to. Others would return worse after listening to the doctor and it occurred to me that they did not understand fully the gravity of the situation. I decided to take it upon myself to teach them about their health and general wellbeing starting from the young population. People spend a huge chunk of their time on social media so I took the message to them. Hence the beginning of the Project: Aproko Doctor.
Why are you passionate about healthy living?
I got to see people’s finances reduced to nothing after a health condition which some would most likely die from, sometimes, leaving their families behind in debt and penury. A huge chunk of these health conditions could be prevented by inculcating lifestyle habits. Also, seeing as we do not have Universal Health Care here in Nigeria, this was my part to help the poor and middle class avoid catastrophes later in life.
What has been the biggest reward since you started with the nuggets?
The lives of people affected. One that stands out the most was the life of a one-year-old girl that was saved by the information I shared online, she had swallowed her sister’s earring and would have choked to death if her mother had not come across a thread I made on what to do if you have a child who is choking. She followed the instructions and saved her baby’s life, there have been numerous other cases.
What inspired your creation of The Healthy Threads on twitter?
I understood that there are people who would fall ill by no fault of theirs and would not be able to afford the health bills. The Healthy Threads would kill two birds with one stone: Help spread health messages with inscriptions on the shirts and cater to the poor by using the profits to pay the medical bills of those who cannot afford to pay them
As someone who keeps the lifestyle of people in check, what is your ideal health routine?
This is my daily health routine; exercise is a must. I use my surroundings mostly callisthenics to get my heart rate pumping, try to drink at least 3 litres of water every day, and ensure that I take at least one fruit daily. Sleep early and deeply. On some days, I might skip some, but they have become a habit. I also keep a smartwatch that reminds me from time to time to move around and keep my heart healthy.
How do you balance your life as a health practitioner and a social media influencer?
I must say it is not easy and requires sacrifice, the hardest part is creating the content which has to be engaging enough to catch their attention. Middle of the night, long before dawn, I spend time creating this content and then share during the day. This is to make sure that it does not interfere with the quality of patient care. All these i do in combination with chasing a second degree.
How would you rate Nigerians response to healthy living?
There has been an improvement, it takes the collective work of everyone. I also understand that there are people who do not have access to social media and the next phase of this project is to take the message to them. People are becoming health conscious and this will go a long way to improve the health stats of this country.
How does healthy living relate to staying safe in this COVID-19 pandemic?
Living healthy ensures that your immune system is strong enough to fight off the virus if a person gets it. Also, hand hygiene is a part of the measures, by now we should be aware that about 80% of diseases are transmitted by our hands. One major downside of this pandemic is the lockdown and social distancing that may affect the mental health of many people out there. Making sure that they stay connected can help them fare better.