Yinka Olatunbosun writes on the hospital mural project initiated by the Arts in Medicine Fellows led by the artist, Kunle Adewale for children fighting cancer
It is the best Children’s day season for the children at the Pediatric Oncology Ward at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) as the Arts in Medicine Fellows embarked on a mural project recently. First, the children were asked what characters make them feel strong. “Black Panther”, “Captain America’’, “Black Widow, “Superman’’ and “Hulk” were some of the warm responses received from the children, some of whom had been in the ward for months.
The task fell on the visiting fellows to recreate these children’s fantasies in colourful murals. Some super heroes wear cape, others do not. They have unique strengths and personalities just as the children receiving medical care. Invariably, the children are superheroes as they battle with the dreaded disease called Cancer.
It is against this backdrop that the super heroes mural project was executed by artists, medical students, patients, caregivers, hospital staff as well as art in medicine fellows made up of students and professionals in arts and healthcare. The artists include Julius Agbaje, Lasisi Damilare, Saheed Garuba, AdenleKehinde, Nmadinachi Egwim and Arts in Medicine Fellows 2019 Cohort.
The founder and Executive Director of Arts in Medicine Fellowship, Kunle Adewale explained the reason for this project.
“The painted super heroes in this Pediatric Oncology Ward empowers children and adolescents living with chronic illness to remain brave, strong and resilient in the face of pain and life-threatening challenges. The mural becomes a lens through which patients, caregivers, health workers and hospital staff must see themselves as super heroes,’’ he said.
For arts in medicine, there is a proven link between a patient’s physical surrounding and positive health outcomes. Adewale added: “The Hospital Mural project is one of the Arts in Medicine project that advocates for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good health and well-being and it has potentials to inspire hope, healing and happiness in the hospital environs.’’
One of the board members of the Arts in Medicine Fellowship, Mrs. Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro urged individuals as well asorganisations to support the initiative which provides therapeutic healing to patients, and their caregivers.
A 600-level medical student, Simbiat Rahmon expressed her joy at being a part of this laudable project.
“I was overwhelmed by the joy of trying something new and thrilled at the satisfaction that came with it. I learned many things about mural painting which I thought at first were magical,’’ she declared.
The project was completed in memory of Dr. Omada Idachaba.