By CHRISTY ANYANWU
Oladapo Ashiru, (OFR) is a trail blazing medical doctor. He pioneered test tube baby in Africa, pioneered IVF in Africa and now modern Mayr medicine in Africa. At age 32, he had already become a professor of Anatomy. In one of his vacations abroad, he discovered the modern Mayr medicine in Austria. The rejuvenating experience at the place got him looking healthier and youthful. According to him, the treatment is a NO WAY to diseases like hypertension, infertility, erectile dysfunction, arthritis, diabetes, liver & kidney failure, cancer and even sudden death. His experience in Austria propelled him to bring his services to Nigeria by establishing Mart Life Detox Clinic, at Maryland Lagos.
Recently at a wellness forum, you talked about healthy eating habits. You said that chewing food helps people stay healthy. Why were our grandparents able to live long lives unlike us today?
They ate properly. Even if they ate eba three times daily, the soup was properly cooked. They ate freshly cooked tomatoes and vegetables that were taken straight from the farm. All those food items have low amounts of histamine. Beyond that, they didn’t have all these preservatives and seasonings added to their food. These things are very toxic to the body. Technology has made us to create toxins in our bodies. As we grew older, we were made to chew. God gave us teeth to chew food and grind it properly, mix it with the saliva so that by the time it gets into the stomach, it is almost in the liquid form, ready to be digested. The microwave is western technology that our parents did not have in those days and they lived long. The truth of the matter is that when western technology comes a product, another form of technology also comes along to checkmate the problem caused by the previous one. Today Mayr medicine is a solution of modern technology.
Eating properly is not the only problem we have today. Another major problem we have is the environment. Everyday we are inhaling automobile fumes; we no longer drink spring water, rather we are drinking water from boreholes; often it is not properly purified; water from some boreholes have bacteria contamination; even some have heavy metal contamination. Recently, there was newspaper report in an area in Ikeja where blood test done on residents found lots of heavy metals such as aluminum, zinc and iron because the steel factories there were producing enormous amounts of fumes.
That is why India has relocated all industries outside residential areas. But in Nigeria we put everything together and people are suffering for it. The heavy metals inhaled through fumes and absorbed from water need to be removed by going through Mayr therapy.
You just talked about Mayr medicine. Is it one of your specialties?
Actually, I came in contact with Mayr modern medicine as a result of my desire to visit health farms just to relax and have a medical checkup. I have been to a number of health farms in England. A health farm is like the regular hotel resort. We heard about the Austrian health farm that offers Mayr medicine. Actually it was my wife that was meant to go there. When I went there, I found the place to be fantastic. After the experience I became happier, more energized and excited to face my work. I could then climb stairs easily. In fact I would run up the stairs. When I work with my doctors, they tired, but I am still working because going through Mayr therapy has energized. I was convinced that Austrian Mayr therapy would be beneficial to my patients. At the Austrian clinic, I saw a lot of patients from Hollywood. There were patients who were recovering from abdominal surgery and cancer; there were pregnant patients too. They would spend two weeks in the clinic for the therapy and then go back home refreshed. Mayr has only two centers in Austria; the first one is over 60 years and the second centre started in 1992. These were the only two centers of Mayr in the world until we started the third centre in the world here in Lagos. It is the first in Africa. When I invited them to set up a centre Lagos, they were reluctant. I explained that people don’t have enough money to fly regularly to Austria for follow up. I assured them I had a suitable place I could convert for Mayr therapy. They said that I had to undergo the training first. So I went to Austria to study Mayr medicine. I am still studying the technique because it is a special practice. You have to be a medical doctor to practice Mayr medicine. The Nigerian centre opened last year. We did not only reproduce what they have in Austria, we have also added one or two things to make it quite unique and fit for the Nigerian environment. I can boldly say that the kind of Mayr medicine we practice here is the same Austrian standard, but is customized.
Prior to getting into Mayr medicine, what was your specialty?
First, I am a professor of anatomy. I worked at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos before I retired. I also studied endocrinology in Chicago, United States and specialized in fertility medicine and assisted reproductive technology. I became a professor at the age of 32. I thank the Almighty God that has given me the pioneering gift. I pioneered in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in Africa. I moved further in IVF and pioneered pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which enables a couple to have a balanced family. If you have boys and want girls you can select the sex of your baby; where the spouses are sickle cell carriers, through PGD, the couple can have normal babies that do not have sickle cell trait. With the help of the Almighty God it is now virtually possible for anyone to have a child regardless of age. Recently, a couple in their early sixties had a set of male twins.
What was it like growing up?
I was fortunate to be raised by my two parents. My father was Pa Ade Ashiru, who was very well known in Ijebu Ode. He was a chief tax collector during the colonial days. Later, he became a renowned educationist and was chairman, board of governors of several in schools in Ijebu-Ode for many years before he died. My mother was virtually the first nursing sister in Western Nigeria. My father was a highly regarded and wise counselor in the town. I was in the choir. Even in medical school, I sang in the choir and sometimes led the procession as the cross bearer. I knew everything about the church right from the age of 8. In the choir I sang soprano, but as I got older I sang tenor and bass. So you can see that I was inclined towards spiritual development from early life.
In secondary school, I was appointed the class captain and by the time I wrote the school certificate examination, I won the principal’s prize as the best overall student. At Ijebu Ode Grammar School, I joined Red Cross Society. I was the zonal commander of students in Ijebu local government at that time. I was quite interested in politics right from secondary school, and we used to have what we call mock parliament; then would hold election. Actually, I was in one party and my elder brother, who is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was in another party. Their party won the election and my party lost it marginally, so I became the leader of the opposition. It was even a teeth for me because I was crossing from one school, which is Adeola Odutola College to Ijebu Ode Grammar School, and then I got to this school and I was made the leader of a party just after one-and-a-half years in that school. I had enough people that believed in me and wanted me to assume the leadership of the party. Thereafter, I went to medical school.
Please recall some of the sweet memories of your undergraduate days.
In the medical school, we formed a club, called the KB club. It was a philanthropic social service club. Within a short time, all the members said I should be the president of the club. Till today, I am the Life Kbite of the klub. The club is still functioning in the medical school up till today. I am proud of that and it’s very overwhelming too. We left a legacy. The club had three priorities: philanthropy, academic performance and social. We were the first to go to these schools – Pacelli School and Wesley Schools for the blind, Atunda Olu School and take the pupils on a picnic to the place where you now have Park View Estate, Banana Estate. The place used to be park. We were medical students then. We were the first to hold what we call inter-disciplinary scientific symposium among lecturers in the medical school. Thereafter we would have parties and look for the best dressed among the new incoming members. It was always a privilege to go to KB Club party and we put a premium on dressing.
Considering that you grew up as a ‘church boy’ how did you cope with girls?
I think experiencing things is part of life. You are not just involved as a male or female person. You are supposed to experience life and come out aright. It was a test for us in creation. That is the test of survival. To survive, you have to see evil and then make your own right path. Somebody who has been exposed to no evil and just stays like that may not be as evolved as you imagine. When I was a medical intern in New York, at the University of Columbia in Manhattan, I attended to people with mental disorders. There was one patient that really struck me – he was a young boy of 13. His parents belonged a strict religious group, and they made him spend his days reading the bible and just living a mere functional life – what I call a sterile life. But he had to go to school. When he went to school and saw children behave differently, he drove home back home and became a problem because he couldn’t handle the life he got exposed to in school. It affected him and they had to take him through that process. You experience those things in moderation; you don’t violate the laws. Socializing with girls is not contrary to the growing boy; I believe it is not, but I think if you take it beyond that, then it is in the contrary.
Was it at one of the Kbite parties that you met your wife?
I met my wife in one of those parties but we didn’t quite click. I guess I was busy. For me, I have one philosophy – I can never see a girl in the street and pick her up. I must be introduced to the person. If I don’t know you, if I don’t know your background, I can’t go out with you. I used to wonder when people say they met their wife at the bus stop and picked them up; I will never do such a thing. I will never stop at the bus stop and give a lady a lift. So I was introduced to my wife in her house, long after the first meeting.
You became a professor at 32, which was very early. How did you cope with older professors?
Most of the people that interviewed me for the professorship were in their 50s and some were about 63. I think that the work I did spoke for me. When I graduated from medical school, I had the option of specializing in anatomy because I love to teach, and up till today I’m still a professor of anatomy.
I decided to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology but I didn’t like the obstetrics part. I didn’t like to wake up at any part of the night to take delivery because my mother was doing that. When we were growing up, she had a maternity centre and it was difficult doing 24/7 but I don’t mind the reproductive part of it. I wanted to do public health also because I had been exposed to reproductive part of public health, family planning, infertility; I want to do physical medicine because I believe in keeping things but if you have to do all these area, I will spend about 18 years reading medicine before I finish, spending years in each specialty and going to the next one but as luck would have it, I started with anatomy and when I was going for my postgraduate course, the external examiner came from the United States, he was in his late fifties. He invited me to the US, and I thought I was going to work with him but he said
The wanted me to work with another person. That person I worked with was doing some research in reproductive medicine – an area that was very unknown at that time. I got a grant from the Rockfeller Foundation to establish a laboratory that enabled me do the IVF. By the time I pioneered the IVF I went into Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). In trying to solve the problem of IVF, I noticed some people were not getting pregnant because they have some abnormalities in the embryo.
PGD is where we can select normal embryo before they are implanted into the mother so that they don’t have Down syndrome babies. When that was done and I was still not getting success in some patients, I realized they were too fat and overweight that was why they were not getting pregnant even with the IVF. I now said how would I make this people to lose weight and that was what led to establishment of the Mart Detox Clinic.
Do you really have time for yourself and family?
I do. I take vacations, I go on cruises, I travel, and all my daughters are virtually all married. I rest at weekends, because I have enough doctors who are properly trained to take over and do the work whenever I am not around.