Interface with Dr. Kenneth Egwuda, 2017 Plateau Best Doctor of the Year in Plateau State, the Pioneer of IVF in Plateau State and CEO/MD of ALPS Hospitals and Diagnostics

Health they say is wealth and for an individual to be productive in his/her field of endeavor, he/she must be medically sound.

Our spotlight today is on Dr. Kenneth Egwuda, a Consultant Gynaecologist, IVF/ART Specialist and Medical Expert who is not only meeting the medical needs of the people but also their reproductive needs.

He was adjudged by the “WHO is WHO” organization as the Best Doctor in Plateau State, on account of his technical expertise and professionalism in the Medical Profession as well as the significant milestones and impacts he has made, and is still bringing to the Health Sector.

He was also honored as “Africa’s Distinguished Personality of Honor, 2017”, after the success recorded on the 63-year-old woman who gave birth through IVF. “An Icon of Nation Building and Medical Development in Nigeria”; awarded by the Trans-African Students’ Initiative (TRASI Africa). He also bagged an award of “Icon of Excellence in Medical Practice (IVF/ART)” from American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) and the University of California. His selfless services, humility, fear of God and empathy have endeared so many people to him.

His exceptional healthcare service delivery has earned him great recognition and goodwill, which has made him standout as a Medical Expert. He has traveled far and wide across the globe in his quest for medical excellence; therefore his exposure to new trends in the medical profession has attracted health tourism to Plateau State. People across Nigeria, Africa and other parts of the world visit him for his medical expertise and reproductive technology.

Dr. Kenneth is the Chief Medical Director/CEO of ALPS Hospitals and Diagnostics located at No. 2 Tari Close, Opposite PRTVC Rayfield Office Jos Plateau State.
He is the Pioneer of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in Plateau State, a medical process which in the past was adjudged impossible which today he has made possible in Jos, Plateau State with the successful delivery of a 63-year-old woman (Mrs. Margaret Davou), who is currently the “oldest IVF mother” in Africa.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the process of fertilization in which extracted ovum or ova and retrieved sperm sample are manually combined in a laboratory dish, the zygote is later transferred to the uterus. It is often referred to as “test tube fertilization”
To him, he pursues, recognizes and celebrates excellence.

Dr. Kenneth is a young gynaecologist who is breaking new grounds in the field of assisted reproductive technology in Nigeria, Africa and globally. He is working tirelessly to assist people with reproductive health issues and clinical research. ALPS Hospitals and Diagnostics is a silent force in the medicine of Assisted Reproductive Technology and Gynaecology Endoscopy in Africa. Below is the excerpt of his interview with Viewpoint Nigeria:

VIEWPOINT: May we know you?
DR. KENNETH: I am Dr. Kenneth Egwuda. I am a Consultant Gynecologist, IVF Specialist and a Minimal Access Surgeon. Reproductive biologist with special interest in genetic medicine. In summary, those are the things I live my life learning, practicing and still trying to improve on in order to meet the reproductive health needs of people, and other critical reproductive challenges.

VIEWPOINT: Can we have a summarized history about your IVF practice in Plateau State and other trainings?
DR. KENNETH: When I started IVF in Plateau State then I didn’t even know I was going to stay in Plateau State. I thought when coming to Plateau State I will just fly and settle where I wanted, that is Abuja, but for so many reasons, my story is not the very interesting one but that is what destiny has for me. Today am happy doing what I have to on the Plateau. I am privileged to have been around the corridors of IVF as far back as the year 2006. That was my first year in IVF and today is my 12th year being deeply involved in the practice.

So I am among the oldest IVF Practitioners in Nigeria currently, as IVF in Nigeria started in 1998. I grew rapidly in my profession and practice while in Abuja and became very versatile in the field of assisted reproductive technology.

I realized that I was too young to be operating where I was, so I left to do some self development in my profession so that was how I came to Jos to do my residency. While here in Jos, in my quest and desire for excellence, I try to grab anything that pertains to my profession.

So I was around the world to do a lot of studies. First it was London, University of Warwick in Coventry, Centre for Human Reproduction. That was where I had my advanced IVF trainings aside the ones I received from colleagues who trained from London in Nigeria.
I was also in Munich for IVF training. I once did a presentation for my Boss in London as a Gynecologist and he promised to sponsor my training in Minimal Access Surgery. So I got sponsorship for Minimal Access Surgery.

Minimal Access Surgery is a kind of surgery where you don’t cut a patient open rather a hole is made on the part to be operated and you put in all your gadgets then you operate using a computer and high-tech TV screen on the wall. I did that training in Munich before coming back to Nigeria where I worked with one of the most proficient Minimal Access Surgeons in Nnewi. Then I proceeded to India where I trained under one of the world’s finest advanced gynae laparoscopic surgeon. I went back to London to train with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG).
I also had trainings in Portugal and Belgium, all just training. Presently, I am a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, European Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and the British Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy.

In a short while, I was able to be in the heart of the best practices that relates to reproduction and Minimal Access Surgery in the World. That increased my versatility, exposure and skills. Here in Jos, I started my IVF practice with various centers. I never wanted to work where I am not empowered with the equipment needed to do my work, so I started developing my practice all by myself.

I started Gynae Ville Hospital which later metamorphosed into ALPS Hospitals. Under one year of starting Gynae Ville now ALPS Hospital, we made a world record by making pregnant through IVF, the oldest woman in Africa so far. And this happened here in Jos when we successfully made a 63-year-old woman (Mrs. Margaret Davou) pregnant through IVF. This success drew people’s attention to us by opening up the practice as it was on most newspapers, BBC and other foreign media houses were here in Jos to cover the story, so it went so far. Many people who will come to my office for their medical needs often don’t believe I am the person in-charge here. Here we don’t compromise standard. I am a Medical Practice Developer. I will be in Kano State to start an IVF Centre and I am a Consultant in another hospital in Barnawa, Kaduna State. I have been trying to raise successors so as not to create vacuum in the practice.

The pregnancy of the 63

year old Mrs. Margaret Davou attracted the Plateau State Commissioner for Health who came to our Hospital to witness it along side other gynaecologist in Plateau State. This success increased traffic to us and health tourism to Plateau State as people from Qatar, London and United States called to access our services. Most of those coming are blacks residing in the mentioned Countries.

VIEWPOINT: How do you see Jos environment as it relates to your IVF practice and profession?
DR. KENNETH: With our awareness on Radio and Television Stations, people have been able to know what we are doing. People in Jos who were patronizing IVF Centers in Abuja or Lagos now come to us and have been complimenting our services since the success we recorded, though the traffic is low due to the cost of IVF. We have customized the service to suit the people. We are customizing the services more to meet the financial needs of the people. The practice is fast growing in Jos as awareness is being created. People from Abuja, Portharcourt, Kano and Lagos now come here.

VIEWPOINT: What are your IVF success rate and the challenges you are facing so far in your practice here in Plateau State?
DR. KENNETH: Our success rate is between 45-50% though the world-wide is 32%. Our challenges include lack of funds to do IVF by the people who need the services. Power supply has also been a major challenge though we have other alternatives such as inverters, standby generator and we sometimes depend on the Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) for power. Here in Jos and all across Nigeria, most of the things we use are not locally made. They are made in the United State and Europe. FOREX is also a major problem with the high exchange rate since most of our equipments are imported from foreign Countries; we pay more than what we should be paying.

VIEWPOINT: Looking at your age, you sound very professional and versatile in your discipline, what has been your motivation in your practice?
DR. KENNETH: My major motivation and inspiration is my desire for excellence. My colleagues in Nigeria and Abroad are also sources of my motivation. Our successes are also my motivation though we look forward to breaking new and bigger grounds and doing more advanced operations.

VIEWPOINT: Do you have mentor(s)?
DR. KENNETH: Yes, I have quite a number of them. One is my Boss who i didn’t continue working with, Dr. Shuaibu Idoko. Also I have an Indian Mentor, Dr. Prashant (I spent most of my working life in India). I learnt a lot from him. I was the type that was money-driven but Dr. Prashant changed that mindset. He has been to Nigeria severally and he knows how Nigerians behave when it comes to wealth. He taught me that life is not all about wealth. There was a time we boarded Keke to a Hospital we were going for an operation after one operation despite the fleet of cars in his House. I used to be that person who was a car freak. I know how much he earns whenever we work and people around him were surprised to see me working with him on account of his exalted personality. He told me to always do good and good things will come to you. Excellence became uppermost to me. With that idea, I have done free IVF treatment to some people which ordinarily would have cost them a million naira or above.

VIEWPOINT: Coming in and monitoring your staff, I noticed they are courteous, friendly and professional. Do you give them exceptional training?
DR. KENNETH: Not necessarily, it was the selection process. I have been around the world and know standards and values. I have been in some health centers in Nigeria and most of them are not encouraging in terms of their service delivery and empathy despite the health challenges of the patients. I put the values I needed and courtesy is first despite qualification since the field I am into there are few professionals in it. Courtesy is the primary target in employment.

VIEWPOINT: As a Christian, what is your position on a Christian spinster doing IVF to raise a child or children?
DR. KENNETH: You have gone into the controversial aspect. I am a Christian but my values are different. For one to have a child there must be a mother and father. Researches revealed that children raised by single parents develop certain abnormalities and delinquencies. Though there are many influential people in our society raised from dysfunctional homes. A person ready to stand as a father must agree and sign legal documents as the prospective father of the intended child. Doing IVF for a Christian spinster is socially right as long as we are not breaching the moral conduct, civil codes and norms of the society.

VIEWPOINT: What is your position on the use of media in your practice and other engagements?
DR. KENNETH: The Media is vital to promoting and projecting what one is doing, the media can do so much, because all the good intentions you have for the people may not reach your target clients without effective media engagements, be it the social, print or electronic media.

If you are not known for your expertise, given all the qualities and good things you have to offer you may not reach the target clients you are meant to reach.

Incidentally, I grew up partly in London and Italy where media is appreciated. The media can make or mar you. I am privileged and overwhelmed to have Viewpoint Nigeria as a forum to be heard.

VIEWPOINT: Do you have any form of support from government?
DR. KENNETH: No, all I am doing is solely from my pocket, though I have enjoyed subsidies while training in London and most parts of Europe

VIEWPOINT: What is your advice to youths and leaders?
DR. KENNETH: Youths should be hard working, study the world frontiers, broaden their horizons, pursue excellence, be people of integrity, don’t allow anyone break them even if everything is breaking them, be trendy with the world, be innovative and God-fearing.

Leaders should encourage excellence, provide enabling environment for excellence to be practiced and we must all have a sincere and a healthy drive for money.

VIEWPOINT: Thank you very much for the time
DR. KENNETH: It has been my pleasure having you guys.

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Interface with Dr. Kenneth Egwuda, 2017 Plateau Best Doctor of the Year in Plateau State, the Pioneer of IVF in Plateau State and CEO/MD of ALPS Hospitals and Diagnostics

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