Elvis, 27, grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where malaria remains a risk to everyday life. Having suffered from malaria many times himself, Elvis knows just how dangerous the disease can be and it is only because of his education that he is able to identify the early symptoms of the disease and quickly seek treatment.
Studying medicine at the University of Lagos and working as a doctor in the main hospital, Elvis began to see just how many children were being admitted to hospital with malaria. All too often the children were suffering from dangerously advanced stages of the disease, experiencing seizures and losing consciousness. It was through seeing how simple it was to administer life-saving treatment to the patients that Elvis was able to see how you could turn the life of a dying child around, saving their lives and giving them their childhood back.
Coming to the UK to work as a Health Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat as part of their Young Professionals Scheme, Elvis has since gone on to work at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London in the Cardiothoracic Surgery team and is currently working for the UK’s National Health Service, specializing in emergency medicine and focus on conflict and catastrophe response. After gaining further clinical experience, Elvis hopes to return to Nigeria and work to improve their own health service.
While working at the Commonwealth, Elvis was inspired by Sri Lanka’s achievements, learning more about their successful work to eliminate malaria. He helped establish the Commonwealth Youth Health Network. With members from across the Commonwealth, it gives young people the platform they need to be able to discuss and engage with issues related to health.
During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 Malaria Summit, Elvis presented the Youth Declaration calling on heads of government to make clear commitments, with earmarked domestic financing, to join young people in eliminating malaria by 2030. You can see him above in a selfie with speaker and award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Coming from a country with the highest burden of malaria in the world, Elvis has been an asset to the NHS, learning and training amongst his colleagues before he returns to Nigeria.