in a clime that still pins the blame of extended barrenness squarely at the doorsteps of the woman, Dr Babatunde Okewale, Chief Medical Director of St Ives, is a conquering hero, galloping in to liberate them from personal and social woes. To the man moulded from the fires of single-minded determination, age is but a number, dreams delayed do not have to be dead dreams, and the reality of being a mother is often just a few specialist procedures away.
Since he rampaged into town with his message of motherhood for all, Dr Okewale has become the medical equivalent of a faith healer. Over the years, he has garnered an indisputable clout as the premier gynaecologist in the country, sometimes seemingly fashioning healthy babies out of thin air.
His brainchild St Ives consists of three specialist hospitals, 2 IVF clinics and one family clinic. Established in 1996, St Ives is the closest thing to a Mecca for women of all ages seeking the fruits of the womb. They come desperate, ready to risk it all in their efforts to cuddle a little tot born of their blood. And the bearded doctor is only too happy to answer their prayers.
Not many will forget in a hurry the story of the 67-year-old woman who, after an encounter with St Ives Fertility Centre, finally put to bed after 35 agonizing years. Her breakthrough makes her the oldest recorded mother in Africa and second in the world. There are many more like her, willing testifiers of the efficacy of Dr Okewale’s world-class, cutting-edge In-Vitro Fertilization procedures.
Inevitably, when achievement leads, accolades follow. The humble and unassuming doctor has not been able to successfully evade the honours that flood his way, a natural consequence of his game-changing work. The laurels on his brow are already worthy of a king, and they keep coming.
Recently, he was the recipient of the much-coveted Lagos Times Excellence Award in Health Entrepreneurship. And just last Sunday, March 31, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award at the prestigious City People Awards for Excellence. Dr Okewale was honoured for his decades-long contributions to medicine. He however vowed not to rest on his considerable laurels.