An Alumnus of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, was recently honoured with the Icon of Health Promotion Award, by the Faculty, for carving out a niche for himself as a leading scholar in his field of endeavour.
Presenting the award of excellence in medical leadership to the Nordica boss at the 14th annual scientific conference and gathering of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, the Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Professor Joseph Adeyemi, stressed that it was in recognition of Ajayi’s ability to ease the pains of families with infertility issues in Nigeria for close to two decades.
Expressing gratitude to the College for such a significant award, Ajayi said it meant a lot to him especially as it was coming from the medical arena. He said: “Like every award, it is a wakeup call because if people award you for doing something right, then you better persist in doing it and then probably do it better so that it is not just them alone that are going to give you such awards but that that you would even go ahead to get even more awards at the national level and even at the worldwide level.”
Ajayi, who said he was not expecting the award, noted, “I was not really privy to this award until few weeks ago and I’m really impressed, especially when it is coming from my constituency and when your own constituency says that you are doing something right, then you must be doing it really right.”
As the special guest of honour at the event, the Nordica boss spoke on a topic that revolved around Mental Health and Fertility, explaining that infertile people are stressed and this could lead to depression, a mental condition that can transgress into other things. He said that there was an intersection between infertility and mental health, adding, “because of the high premium we place on childbearing in this part of the world, people who don’t have children feel that there is something missing and that leads to a lot of mental disturbance. The World Health Organisation (WHO), says that health is not just absent of infirmity but it is a state of well-being, so we can rightfully say that there is an element of connection between infertility and mental health.”
On how couples should avoid mental conditions from affecting their fertility, he said, “There is treatment for infertility like any other medical disorder, and the only thing is for people to go to the right place. While we are not saying that couple should not go to prayer houses or whatever, we are saying that they should do the appropriate thing when they find themselves in such situation and at the right time so that this does not result into other things like mental health issues.”
Emphasising on the need for couples to be in the right condition of mental health in order to aid fertility, he said, “Every society determines what is important to it and in this part of the world, one of the things that is very important to us is procreation – that we must replace ourselves and in this part of the world, it is more important than some other parts of the world and the reason a lot of couples get so disturbed emotionally when they are shortcoming in this area and consequently get depressed.”
The Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Professor Joseph Adeyemi said the annual event is usually an opportunity for researchers in the faculty and others to showcase their work from their diverse tendencies for scientific discuss. He explained that the main objective of the programme is to make research driven evidence public knowledge with the intention to influence policy formulation aimed at addressing health related problems in our country and contribute to world literature.
The guest speaker at the event, Prof Jude Ohaeri, a professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, spoke on the topic, ‘Mental Health in a Recessed Economy’. He stressed that mental health advancement was a needed tactic for national development especially at this period when the nation’s economy was downtrodden.
Ohaeri concluded therefore that in this situation of severely depressed national economy, promotion of mental health was a cost-effective strategy for national development, spanning many facets of societal functioning that has the potentials to engender citizen’s resilience, optimism and other positive emotions and character traits that build the human foundations for the flourishing of society.
“The National Orientation Agency should collaborate with experts in the field to articulate a mental health promotion campaign that will engender internal locus of control, positive emotions and traits, as a means to heal our national divisions by fostering right human relations and bring peace to our nation,” the professor noted.