This is the touching story of the first female doctor in Igboland whose life was tragically cut short.
Ada Priscilla Nzimiro
Ada Priscilla Nzimiro was a graduate of the University who was the first woman doctor to work in the Igbo region of Nigeria.
Ada Priscilla Nzimiro was born in Port Harcourt, Old Eastern region on 30 April 1923, the same year general elections were held for the first time in Nigeria, to wealthy parents. She was the first child of her mother but had step-siblings.
As a brilliant child, Ada excelled in academics prompting her mother to send her abroad to study Medicine and Surgery. With her family’s support, in 1945, Ada enrolled at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and succesfully trained as a doctor.
She graduated MB ChB in 1950 and thus became the first woman from Igboland to qualify as a medical doctor.
She returned to Nigeria that same year, but barely a year after she graduated, on 22 March 1951, as she was fully entering into her role as the first practicing female doctor in the entire region, she suddenly died without warning at the age of 27.
It came as a huge shock to the entire region, as well as her family and well wishers.
Later reports revealed she died of unnatural causes. She was buried a month after in Oguta, Imo state on 27 April 1951.
After Nzimiro’s death, the William Wilberforce Academy (WWA), which was the first of two secondary schools her parents established at Oguta in 1945, was renamed to Priscilla Memorial Grammar School. This was done in order to honour her memory and record her achievement in the field of medicine.
Her sudden death left her family totally devastated.