Dr. Bennett Omalu: Celebrating one of Nigeria’s greatest exports to the world on his 55th birthday
Dr. Ifekandu Bennett Omalu is a native Of Urunnebo Village, Enugwu Ukwu In Njikoka Local Government Area Of Anambra State.
Born on September 1st, 1968. He attended both primary and secondary schools in Nigeria. And for his tertiary education he proceeded to the University of Nigeria Nsukka, where he acquired MBBS degree in Medicine and Surgery.
He is currently a Professor of medical pathology and laboratory science at the University of California.
Subsequently he acquired his MPH from the University of Pittsburgh and his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the first person in the world to discover and publish findings of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in American football players while working at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office. He’s now the Chief Medical Examiner for San Joaquin County, California. And a professor at UC-Davis.
Dr. Bennet Omalu came to the United States in the 1990’s at the age of 26, to finish his Medical Residency. Through hard work that is just the nature of his Igbo race, he is today, one of the foremost Nero pathologists in the world and is best known for discovering and studying CTE, a degenerative brain condition affecting American football players.
This doctor from Anambra, Nigeria changed the perspective about the safety of some sports through his research into the lives of former N.F.L players. Later a study in Sweden confirmed him absolutely right by revealing that if your child suffers from one concussion they are more likely to die before the age of 42 and more likely to develop psychiatric issues. The Sweden research discovered that N.F.L players were dying or killing themselves less than 20yrs after retirement-which is in their 30’s usually. Exactly something Dr. Omalu confirmed years back.
Worried by the sad fate of some retired NFL players, Dr. Omalu went into research to find out why. In his research, he discovered that “Concussion” was the reason. Amazingly the facts where denied by NFL who felt threatened that his research will destroy their multi billion dollar industry. They fought back to make sure that his research was hidden for years. Dr. Omalu didn’t give up out of fear, getting the truth across to the world was far more important to him than his life. As a result of the Igbo courageous blood in him, that makes the average Igbo person to survive and succeed against all odds, without respect to the hearse and hardest environment, Dr Omalu fought through threats and verbal abuse to get the great scientific discovery to world.
When his research went through, it became so popular and celebrated to the extend that Mr Will Smith, the iconic American actor had to portray him in a movie titled “Concussion”. Where he is credited with finding out the harsh repercussions of contact sports on children and adults. The movie Concussion starring Will Smith playing Dr Omalu the founder of the disease CTE that causes something he found out that messes a lot of football players heads up really bad from so much brain rocking contact was a worldwide hit.
Dr. Bennet Omalu is equally the author of the book, Truth Doesn’t Have A Side: My Alarming Discovery About The Danger Of Contact Sports. Dr. Omalu wrote this book, to help parents answer the question ‘Do I love football more than I love my child ?’
It is our hope that sooner or later Dr Omalu will be awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for his research that is saving lives all over the globe.
Happy Birthday to this globally acclaimed Enugwu Ukwu-Born, Award Winning Pathologist, Dr Bennett Omalu.