Amidst negative narratives about Nigerians abroad, some Nigerians in the diaspora are making positive impacts in their host communities with academic excellence and great feats in different endeavours. Chidozie Ojobor is one of such Nigerians having won a global scholarship for his works in fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Chidozie is a PHD candidate at the University of Toronto, Canada won a $5,000 (N1,827,500) scholarship from a Washington DC-based company that offers loans to international students.
Chidozie Ojobor is the first Canadian university student to win the scholarship. Ojobor and three others were selected as winners out of 1,121 eligible applicants. According to the University of Toronto, Ojobor’s submission identified the need to address the threat of superbugs.
Chidozie’s journey into research work started when he lost his sister Ginika to typhoid fever in 1999 – a sad event which propelled the PhD student to study microbiology at the University of Nigeria.
Speaking of his sister, Chdozie said “Her death caused me to want to understand what typhoid meant, the organism that caused the disease, how it was disseminated and so on.
“Thinking that my sister may have been infected by a resistant strain that wouldn’t bow to antibiotics that were administered to her got me more interested in phage therapy.”
He said he feels great and encouraged that he is contributing to his field to prevent what happened to his sister from happening to many young and promising people from around the world.
Superbugs is a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotic drugs. It might be an insect that is difficult to control or eradicate, especially because it has become immune to insecticides.
It is also bacterium that is useful in biotechnology, typically one that has been genetically engineered to enhance its usefulness for a particular purpose.