Paris I.


2022 Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Amount: $10,000
School: Carleton University
Program: Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours

Losing my mother barely an hour after my birth is a reality I have had to deal with for as far as I could remember. From what I gathered; my mother passed away not because her death wasn’t preventable but because of the lack of adequate experienced medical personnel to salvage the medical emergency; her postpartum complication. Coming from Sub-Saharan Africa and having seen the numerous cases like that of my late mother happening almost every day, it is realistically impossible for me not to be passionate about obstetrics and gynaecology. My dream is not born out of some empty ambitions and fantasies, rather it is born out of the necessity to create a change, influence the system, get involved in changing the statistics, and making some really fundamental difference in the level of attention and care every woman gets before, during and after childbirth.

In Nigeria, the risk of a woman dying during pregnancy, childbirth, or post-partum is 1 in 22, this is absolutely alarming when compared to the statistics in the developed world where it is 1 in 4900 (WHO, 2020). These numbers are what drive me to remain steadfast in my commitment to becoming a medical doctor and to also advocate for women’s health. It is a fact that my mother’s death brought total hardship upon my father and I, as he had to become a wheel-barrow pusher, in order to take proper care of me and cater for all of my needs.

My mom had no sort of insurance while she was alive and this made it even harder to cope, as my little family (my dad and I) was living in total hardship. From my dad’s little profits which he earned from toiling day and night, and some of which he lent from his friends and is yet to repay, I was sent to a private school in Nigeria, where I strived to be the best in everything I do and even had to become a part-time hair stylist, in order to raise the funds that would enable my father to pay my fees. Eventually, I emerged as the overall best graduating student of the academic year. With a lot of work and savings made by my father, I was able to secure an admission into Carleton University, with the hope of graduating as the very best and pursuing my dreams of going to medical school, to contribute a great deal to reducing maternal mortality in Africa.

It is my dream to be a medical doctor so that I can play a critical role in reducing maternal and infant mortality in Africa and also offer a great deal back to the Canadian community. I am presently studying biomedical sciences as a prerequisite for medical school and I remain committed to the dream as it essentially motivates me to go the extra mile every single day.

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