As many people around the world know firsthand, quality medical care is difficult to come by. One doctor is working to change all that.
A Louisiana-based neurosurgeon travels to Nigeria once a month to provide free healthcare.
Dr. Olawale Sulaiman is a professor of neurosurgery and spinal surgery and chairman for the neurosurgery department and back and spine center at the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana. But, for 12 days each month, he lives and works in Nigeria, providing free or low-cost healthcare.
Sulaiman was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and he’s inspired to give back after growing up with very little. He told CNN, “I am one of 10 children born into a polygamous family. My siblings and I shared one room where we often found ourselves sleeping on a mat on the floor.”
Sulaiman agreed to take a 25 percent pay cut from Ochsner Institute in order to have a flexible schedule to allow for travel.
He also sacrifices time with his own three children in order to take the time to travel and help others. “My philosophy is whether you are Nigerian, Vietnamese, an American, everybody should have access to some degree of good quality healthcare,” Sulaiman said to 4WWL.
In 2010, Sulaiman and his wife Patricia established RNZ Global.
RNZ Global is a healthcare organization that provides medical care and health courses in both the U.S. and Nigeria.
Since starting RNZ Global, they’ve treated 500 patients and provided preventative medicine to up to 5,000 people in the U.S. and Nigeria. Eventually, Sulaiman wants to set up at least four neuroscience centers in Nigeria so that other doctors can continue to provide necessary care to people living there.
“I feel privileged,” Sulaiman said to 4WWL. “I feel like I have been given an opportunity to impact somebody’s life.”