Dr. Odiraa Nwankwor, pediatrician at Nemours and clinical assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University, was awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Nigeria to work with the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria and Professor Tagbo Oguonu on “Innovative Teaching and Mentoring of Pediatric Medical Graduate Trainees in Pediatric Critical Care.”
In a statement, Thomas Jefferson University recalls that in 2019, Dr. Nwankwor and his team travelled to Nigeria to establish a 5-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu.
It adds, “This will be the first organized Pediatric ICU in the country. While in Nigeria, they started the initial phase of training for the local healthcare workers. Since returning back to the US, the team has continued the training through a web-based Zoom platform.
“This fellowship provides a formal collaboration between Dr. Nwankwor and the University for teaching and mentoring of Pediatric Residents in the field of pediatric critical care medicine. We hope that through this program will positively impact capacity building and technical knowledge transfer in this new area of pediatric care in Nigeria. Dr. Nwankwor will be working with Professor Tagbo Oguonu (from the host institution) on this program.
“The University of Nigeria project is one of 56 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, collaborative research, graduate training and mentoring activities in the coming months.
“The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its fourth year, is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, strengthen capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. It is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the Advisory Council. A total of 527 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013.
“Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits of between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend, and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.”
Dr. Nwankwo is from Nanka in Anambra State.