By Tony Manuaka

Dr  Zainab Shikafi-Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State, is a Consultant Pediatrician who has broken many barriers in healthcare delivery. She is a frontline advocate for women’s health, with special interest in cancer care.

While she was in the United Kingdom, she specialised in Pediatrics and Neonatology. On return to Nigeria in 2002 she became the head of the Paedatric unit of Garki Hospital in Abuja. By 2009, she left public service and founded the Medicaid Radio-Diagnostics, the first comprehensive diagnostic medical centre, as a response to the challenges faced by clinicians and patients in their quest to access quality medical diagnostic services. 

The centre offers medical services that were previously unavailable, such as Computed Tomography (CT) Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Digital X-ray as well as Molecular Laboratory Services.

Faced with yet another challenge bothering on the health of women, in the area of breast and cervical cancer, Dr. Shinkafi-Bagudu also set up the Abuja-based Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF), an organisation that creates awareness on health matters, trains health workers and funds the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in Nigeria. 

Through the NGO, she raised over 100 million for cancer care in a space of four years. 

So far, no fewer than 700 cancer patients have been catered for by the Foundation.

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As the First Lady of Kebbi State, she widened the scope of service to humanity. She has sponsored the education of many orphans and nurses, established a Cancer Control Desk as well as developed a Cancer Control Plan. 

She initiated a United Nations Office that campaigns against crime, drug abuse, gender-based violence, as well as sensitizes the people on new health issues.

Over the years, Mrs. Shinkafi-Bagudu has become more passionate about reducing maternal and infant mortality than anything else. 

She currently champions Breakthrough Action, a project of the United States Agency for International Development targeted at changing the approach of couples towards reducing child and maternal mortality. She is Kebbi State Patron of High Level Women Advocates, a United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund Programme that encourages girl-child education.

Dr. Bagudu holds a Bachelor of Medicine from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Master’s degree in Pediatrics and Neonatology from the United Kingdom. 

For her unwavering interest in saving lives and uplifting the people, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu is the winner of The Sun First Lady of the Year Award 2022.