10 Questions with Emmanuel Essien | Reve Insiders2 Dec 2021 2022-06-10 13:43
10 Questions with Emmanuel Essien | Reve Insiders
Reve Insiders is an exclusive network of global leaders, businesses, brands, professionals and creatives that we have had the pleasure of working with or have stumbled across in some shape and form. We take an inside look into the lives of some of them.
What makes them tick and what are they adding to the world to make a difference in the lives of others or in their own lives. This week we interview Doctor Emmanuel Essien, a medical professional, Entrepreneur, UN Volunteer, lover of the fine arts and one of our medical experts based in Abuja, Nigeria. Doctor Emmanuel is also set to provide our Reve Insider community with wellness consultations, and advice on The Reve Today blog, where we will address health issues in Africa as a whole. So stay tuned for more updates!
REVE INSIDERS: Emmanuel, tell us more about your journey as a professional in business and medicine?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: Wow, intriguing and deep question. I am happy to be Interviewed by this prestigious global brand. As a professional, a medical doctor with licenses in Nigeria and Ukraine, it hasn’t been easy. I graduated from medical school in Ukraine and returned to my country, Nigeria to serve my nation. It has been fun and I have gathered many experiences in medicine from both Ukraine and Nigeria. We have a long way to go in Nigeria, regarding healthcare. We also have some of the best medical doctors from Nigeria, despite the stressful terrain to practice in our country, unlike Eastern Europe. One of my small but unique achievements as a medical doctor was to manage a hospital at the age of 28 and 29 years old. I have managed two such hospitals. In terms of business, I ventured into the business of fine arts, 27 years ago. I also ventured into the financial markets, trading and tutorship, and acquired these skills 14 years ago. In terms of business successes and failures, I have had a lot of setbacks in the past unlike in medicine. However I have been able to learn from them and start over.
REVE INSIDERS: You are currently based in Abuja, Nigeria and was born and raised in the country. What was studying in the Ukraine like, and what were some of the biggest lessons you learnt during this time?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: I use to be based in Abuja, Nigeria, but relocated to another region for a project. My work demands I move to any state or country at any given time. Studying medicine in Ukraine was fun. You answer questions directly to your lecturers verbally and even your patients, so there’s less writing. It created a strong bond and relationship between the lecturers and myself, same for other medical students. You are taught to take the history of your patients carefully down and not act irrational with any patient. I also learned how to manage the crazy, cold weather of Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine’s weather. There is also great humility among medical professionals in Ukraine, they respect foreigners. You don’t encounter much racism. It changed my psychology a lot about what I thought I knew. They also embrace the modern concept of medicine.
REVE INSIDERS: What are some of the important health-related projects and initiatives that you have actively been involved in?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: I have gotten involved in a project tagged the “HIV testing and counselling” done for a community of 15000 resident in Abuja, Nigeria. It was a Voluntary service as I was under the National Youth Service Corp, and was the President of the community development service for a group called the peer trainers education group. Our goals were geared towards educating people on health related problems, especially hepatitis, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases. I also went on to join one of the hepatitis zero organisations, whose goals are set towards vaccinating people against the hepatitis virus. I am one of the ambassadors and I had supported the provision of some vaccines to a hospital in a rural region in Nigeria. The other unique project I ventured into, was the covid19 testing and counselling, working behind the scenes, with some Nigerian government officials to share my ideas on how to test and treat people against the coronavirus, (covid19). My current project is a telemedicine platform, a personal one created for my patients, its called DrEEE consult. I have a client base of over 50 patients in Nigeria through this platform. The project will be completed In year 2022, with a fully active mobile app and patient interface. I welcome partnerships and supports.
REVE INSIDERS: A big question for any doctor these days, is their view on the COVID situation. With so many varying opinions, and much confusion. One thing remains true: Our health is our wealth. What is your best advice for staying healthy and strong during this time?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: The covid19 pandemic is obviously a very scary and disturbing situation for many of us, even medical doctors. This virus happens to take many variants and mutations. The best advice remains, take lots of vitamins, avoid exposure to extreme cold weather. At anytime you go down with a flu-like symptom, please kindly contact your doctor. For those who already have underlying respiratory health issues, it is best you take the vaccines and avoid doubts about the vaccine. However we want to see it, the vaccines have helped us to fight this virus, much better than what happened in early 2020. We must also learn to avoid eating unhealthily, as I and other colleagues have observed – people who are diabetic, hypertensive, asthmatic, kidney diseases, and liver diseases seem to die faster once the virus invades their systems. 90 percent of the world’s population are already exposed to processed food. This doesn’t help anyone in the era of the coronavirus that creates different strains. The future of this virus won’t be long as there will be an end to it, when we get a lasting and efficient vaccine to control all its variants. The United Kingdom and American scientists have been able to formulate new medications to at least control the viral infection. The Russian vaccine is also doing well despite the different doubts and restrictions. The world needs to work as a team to end this nightmare, and avoid selfish gains or taking advantage of the situation in some countries, I will discontinue from here till next time. I also advise people to read and study about covid19 from approved medical journals and avoid rumours. Consult the right medical experts. I am always available to respond to any persons worries or questions on covid19 and any health issues.
REVE INSIDERS: What does #livingwell mean to you and how do you incorporate wellness into your own life?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: For you to live well, you must avoid excesses, especially referring to things you consume as food. For me I do exercises often and I eat moderately. You have to understand your body compositions. Especially watching our BMI and doing three monthly laboratory blood tests and investigations, to see you are healthy. My work involves much mental work and stress. Most times I don’t sleep early. To fix this deficit, I try to sleep 6 hours on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a history of hypertension and diabetes in my family, and this has made me adjust my meal prep, I eat diets less in high level carbohydrates and salt. I take water, cucumber and lemon, a natural drink, two glasses daily. I also eat once or twice a day. However this regimen is my own regimen, and not recommended for use by anyone. Except you consult with me or your doctor says it’s ok for you. Remember we all have a different health history. Learn to know your family health history. Most of our illnesses are hereditary.
REVE INSIDERS: There is no doubt that the challenges you face as a healthcare professional are limitless. You have to stay strong to be strong for others. How do you keep your passion for the job and faith alive to stay aware and mentally -prepared?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: Yes, you are right. Being a medical doctor involves much emotional stress too. Some doctors hide this part of them. Doctors do face depression, despite what we do or know. I have fallen into a state of depression during my early stages as a young doctor. When you lose a patient and you knew nothing else could work to keep the patient alive, this usually breaks me. After some time I had to get use to it. I distract myself with music, reading journals, watching documentaries and movies when I have free time. I have also changed my thinking, to create ideas or ways to help people from making disastrous health related decisions. Prevention is better than cure, as it is popularly said. I realised some people won’t die from certain illnesses, if they were advised properly and early enough on how to avoid or manage their health conditions.
REVE INSIDERS: What are a few of your biggest accomplishments thus far?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: One of my greatest accomplishments is getting my medical degree from Ukraine and my license in Nigeria. This made my dad and mum proud. The second achievement was being able to be one of the members to research sub-groups of the European society of cardiology. My goal is to be a preventive cardiologist specialist in future. The third achievement was being able to win a hospital partnership deal, making me a 70 percent shareholder in the hospital projects. My goal is to partner with 20 or more hospitals before I reach 80 years old. I have also been selected as an ambassador to the hepatitis zero foundation, this was a unique achievement. Last year I was awarded the unsung heroes award due to my little contribution to healthcare by the Oma Living Show Awards Group. I have also been able to create something for my hidden talent and love for arts, I am the co-owner of SK African Art Collective, registered in Nigeria. I have been able to gather the best fine art talents within Africa, 20 of them to be precise to keep producing artworks. I am more of an art curator. I also draw and paint whenever am in the mood. And finally my acquired skills in foreign exchange trading had also granted me an FX trader job in London, for audacity capital, I was one of those given the chance to join their funded trader program. I am no longer working with them. The interview and video interview is on their YouTube channel and website. It was a deal to help me rise up financially, I earn 50 percent of whatever I made as profit for the company. It was a tough job. It had its heavy risk and benefits attached to it.
REVE INSIDERS: What is your biggest piece of advice that you would like to share with any upcoming medical or healthcare professional?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: The best advice I can share with anyone who wants to become a medical doctor is to be ready for better or for worse. Ask questions. Being in a classroom is different from practicing medicine in the real world. You will fail several times, you will be disappointed with yourself several times, you may not be able to get help sometimes as a medical doctor, but never give up. A medical doctoris is not meant to live to impress or compete with anyone. Our job is to help people live healthy, emotionally and physically.
REVE INSIDERS: What are a few of your goals for the future?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: My goal is to own a medical consulting centre and forum, to manage more patients, especially those who cannot afford to pay for their health bills. The biggest problems of some patients is poverty. This I have really seen in Nigeria and some parts of Africa. In other parts of the world it is also a big challenge.
REVE INSIDERS: What is a quote or saying that keeps you moving?
Doctor Emmanuel Essien: “God is with Me “. Yes I am not perfect, but God is with me. Never give up, because of humans, or people that take advantage of you. This is what resounds in my mind even when am faced with depression. As a medical doctor, I don’t ignore God despite the knowledge I acquired. Thank you for this interview and I hope to see you all soon again.
You’ve reached the end…
A big thank you to Emmanuel for sharing parts of his journey with us. The more questions we ask, the more we want to know! We are set to publish a new 10 Questions blog interview every Thursday for the months of November and December. A new tradition that we’re adding to the list of them as we grow.
And always remember…