Dr Iko Ibanga, OON
The physician and missionary
This December, Pro-Health International, the medical outreach group Dr. Iko Ibanga, OON, co-founded with three other medical professionals turns 29. And as it is customary, he would be leading his colleagues and a team of volunteer medical professionals – specialist doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, medical students, other paramedics and non-health professionals – to some remote location in Nigeria or Africa to deliver free and quality healthcare services.
Pro-Health pioneered free medical missions by Nigerians for Nigerians and fellow Africans. It assembles healthcare professionals who give of their time, services and skills without charge, to provide health care and health education to people especially the less-privileged. Since 1991, Pro-Health undertook more than 500 medical missions in Nigeria and across Africa benefitting more than 1.5 million people. In Nigeria, PHI has carried out free health care projects in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Federal Capital Territory, Gombe, Imo, Kano, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba and Yobe States.
PHI has also provided free health care projects in Haiti, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger Republic, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. Each year, 70,000 to 80,000 patients receive free medical treatment during our outreaches and medical missions providing both generalized and specialized healthcare services that include:
Dr. Ibanga is also a pastor and community organizer. He was inspired by the American surgeon and missionary, Dr. Bob Schofstall, who spent 33 years in Nigeria and is credited to have founded Eku Baptist Hospital, now part of the Delta State University Medical School. His meeting with Dr Schofstall while still in medical school changed his life and career path. The American had told him that from his experience, blacks do not volunteer and if Iko wanted to tow the path of missionary medicine, he must find a way to do it without volunteers. Iko knew he could rewrite that narrative. And he has. To his credit, hundreds of NIgerian and African medical personnel now volunteers globally.
Iko studied medicine at the UCTH, Ibadan and holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Calabar. He is an alumnus of the Stanford, Harvard and University of Washington Executive Leadership programmes.
Akwa Ibom Celebrates Dr. Ibanga, author of A Channel of Blessing, and his incredible story of selflessness, compassion, love, healing and humanity.