Ike Anya is a Nigerian physician, consultant in public health medicine, and author who has just released his debut literary work titled “Small by Small: Becoming a Doctor in 1990s Nigeria”. Anya is a well-known figure in the literary world, having supported two generations of authors, and it is amazing to see him release his own memoir.
Anya graduated from the College of Medicine at the University of Nigeria in 1995 and has since worked as a consultant in public health medicine. In his memoir, Anya chronicles his experiences as a doctor in Nigeria during the 1990s, one of the most surreal and unsettling decades in the life of one of Africa’s most influential nations.
Despite having work published in The Guardian, HuffPost, and other news outlets, this book is Anya’s first foray into the world of literature. The book is set to release on May 18 and promises to be an insightful read.
The title of the memoir, “Small by Small,” comes from a saying often repeated by Anya’s grandmother: “Everything worthwhile is achieved small by small.”
The book charts the triumphs and failures of Anya’s student days all the way to his first demanding year as a house officer (medical intern).
During a recent reading of his book, Anya shared his firsthand experience of the political unrest in Nigeria. He described feeling overwhelmed with despair when he heard the news over the hospital radio that military general Sani Abacha had seized power and destroyed the progress made towards establishing democracy in Nigeria. Hundreds of medical students, including Anya, left the hospital and classrooms to join a spontaneous demonstration against the military government.
Anya also shared his experience working in a small Nigerian hospital, where he noticed a lack of equipment and medication for preventable diseases like respiratory infections and malaria, as well as a shortage of doctors. He reflected on the majority of citizens who never make it to teaching hospitals and the need for a global solution to address doctor shortages.
Anya believes that recent technology like the Internet may be helping to improve the medical system in Nigeria, but there is still much work to be done. He also spoke about the discrimination that Nigerian doctors face when working in Western countries, highlighting the false belief that they are less qualified.
In addition to his contributions as a physician and author, Anya has supported two generations of authors. It is truly remarkable to see him release a new literary work, and his memoir promises to be a thought-provoking and inspiring read for anyone interested in the intersection of medicine and politics in Nigeria.