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Yasangra Rabo-Adeniji IHTM 2021. Head and shoulders photo.

Yasangra Rabo-Adeniji (IHTM 2021)

Consultant Paediatrician practising at Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe.


I applied for the course because I realized clinical care alone was not sufficient for me to make significant impact in improving newborn and child health where I practice. Since completing IHTM, I have returned to my role as a Consultant Paediatrician.

My initial interest was to build research skills that will help generate local data to inform context specific policies. Not only were my expectations met by the scope of the modules, I gained soft skills to facilitate effective communication of my results, engagement with stakeholders and most importantly policy makers.


I am happy to say I got more than a degree from the University of Oxford. It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people from different backgrounds to share experiences and form collaborations.

Immediately after submitting my dissertation in August 2022, I rushed back to Nigeria happy to put into use the skills I have gained. I set up a research group at Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe to look into the three leading causes of neonatal deaths in our setting namely asphyxia, prematurity and infections. We submitted a grant proposal to the World Health Organization and we are optimistic for a positive outcome. This research seeks to document the enablers and barriers to implementing low cost, readily available and effective interventions for Severe Birth Asphyxia. This will impact over a thousand babies within the state annually.

During the grant application process, I leveraged on the networks formed during IHTM and I received tremendous support from my placement supervisors Professor Sassy Molyneux and Dr Sebastian Fuller.

The research group has generated much interest in health research with three other consultants applying to be part of the group which has six foundation members. This is in addition to five resident doctors who have indicated interest in joining the team. The group thus serves to mentor doctors in specialty training on both quantitative and qualitative research and gives them the opportunity to participate meaningfully under supervision. Currently, we have developed a proposal for a study on the quality of care in the newborn unit with the hope of feeding back findings into the health system for quality improvement.

The soft skills training from IHTM (leadership, communication, and negotiation) came in handy when, on my return, I was given the responsibility of reviving the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) in Gombe State. It comprises all female medical doctors in the state and I am currently the president of the association. The hitherto comatose association has been revitalized and held a mental wellbeing seminar in December, 2022. Members have demonstrated commitment and zeal towards the association and the seminar. Importantly, young female doctors have keyed into the vision and mission of the association which is important for sustainability.

The last word

“Coming back to Nigeria after IHTM has given me the opportunity to motivate and impact both the medical students I teach and resident doctors in the department of paediatrics. In addition to the academic dimension, they see me as a role model who made it from Gombe State to the University of Oxford and serves as a constant reminder that they can aim for the stars.

I gladly share my story with them and answer numerous questions from their young aspiring minds. I look forward to contributing my quota to national development through clinical practice, research, mentoring and policy.”