David Otobo


Co-Director of the African Healthcare Students’ Summit

He is currently the Co-Director of the African Healthcare Students’ Summit (AHESS). He founded the Nigerian Health Students’ Summit (NHESS) in 2019. He is a member of the International Students One-Health Alliance (ISOHA) and has spoken at various international conferences on Strategic Community Advocacies, and Reproductive health.

He is a researcher in Infectious Nephrology, Surgery and Reproductive Health, with international peer reviewed Journal Publications. He is a polyglot and has won numerous awards in performing arts and Poetry. Otobo is a Clinical Medical Student at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bingham University, Nigeria.

What inspired you to enter the World NTD Day Story telling competition?

In a simple sentence, “I saw it as an opportunity to finally use my talent of poetry to propagate the fight against NTDs”. It was an astute medium to continue the fight against NTDs, but this time using poetry, my most intimate form of communication. Like the two birds with one stone semantics, using something I love to achieve something I also Love.

Why does fighting NTDs matter to you?

NTDs are especially important to me because, while growing up my brothers and I were kept away from our village because of the plague of sleeping sicknesses and “Male menstruation”. But you see, it was all a joke to us until we heard one of our childhood friends in the village passed-on in his sleep, after sleeping a lot. Getting to medical school, learning the pathology of Tsetse flies and schistosomiasis, I finally understood what was happening in my country then.

Most importantly, I am an African and like many other things we have neglected, it is killing us. In this particular Neglect, it is our Tropical diseases. we need to realize that the battles we choose to fight are as important as the ones we choose not to.

How do you intend on continuing the fight against NTDs after this competition?

I plan to make short audio poetry clips on specific NTDs, per region or by class of microbes with colorful motion pictures to be circulated on the social media platforms of different health associations. In English and French, Je parle francais aussi (I also speak French).

As already being done, I will continue to join and organize community outreaches, advocacies and campaigns aimed at promoting immunizations and other Community Based Prophylactic interventions. As stated in my audio, “THERE IS HOPE”; but this hope is bent on us actually taking action.

What would be your request to your country’s leaders regarding fighting NTDs?

My request will simply be “to help break down the wall of ethno-religious obstacles inhibiting medical immunizations, community interventions and an NTD free Nigeria”. As seen when we had a delay in accepting the polio vaccines years back due to a religious/regional divide, we had to spend almost 20 additional years before it was pronounced eradicated in my country.

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