Providing Care with Cultural Knowledge
Ijeoma Nduka-Nwosu, M.D.
President & CEO
Comprehensive Primary Care Services
Founder: Ejayes Charities
Brooklyn, N.Y., Mt. Vernon N.Y.,
New Rochelle, N.Y.
Whenever Ijeoma Nduka-Nwosu, M.D., returns to Nigeria on a medical mission for Ejayes Charities, an organization she founded in 2003, she is greeted with the Ibo cry, “Nneoha Alola!” meaning “Mother has returned.”
The honorary title, “Nneoha,” was conferred on her in 1992 by her late father, His Royal Highness Eze F. B. Nduka, in recognition of her deep concern for and commitment to the welfare of others. “I return to my homeland to take care of the people in a special and particular way, to help them live longer and have productive lives,” says Dr. Nduka-Nwosu, a 2005 Network Journal Influential Black Woman in Business honoree.
Dr. Nduka-Nwosu has conducted medical missions to rural Nigeria since 1987. Teams from Ejayes Charities and Mbano National Assembly Inc., a U.S.-based organization of Nigerian-Americans, perform about 60 surgeries in the Mbano community in Nigeria each year. Last March, they addressed such issues as diabetes, hypertension, malaria, HIV/AIDS, fibroids and vesicle vaginal fistulas—internal ruptures resulting from obstructed childbirth in young women with improperly formed pelvises.
Working with a local gynecologist and a pathologist, the group also educate women about Pap smears and their link to preventing cervical cancer, now the second highest cause of death among women in the community.
The sixth of 10 children, Dr. Nduka-Nwosu graduated with honors from the University of Nigeria with degrees in medicine and surgery. She earned two master’s degrees from Harvard University and completed her residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, N.Y. She later established Comprehensive Primary Care Services, a health-care agency in New York serving 4,000 to 5,000 primarily African, African-American, Afro-Caribbean and Hispanic patients in Brooklyn, Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle.
“For me, being a doctor is not about the work, it is about a calling. I believe God needs to use me as an instrument to heal others,” she says. “I’ve always been outspoken and this gives me the authority, the confidence and knowledge to address a lot of the difficulties without flinching. Having knowledge of the culture places me in a position to address these health concerns and behaviors.”