Dr Fatima defies odds to excel
The achievements of Dr Fatima Mohammed were duly recognised with laud applause from the audience and her mates during a special congregation of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale last month where she was declared the best graduating medical student for the academic year ending 2013/14.
She also received awards for her excellence in obstetrics and gynaecology. Even though her achievements were duly recognised with laud applause from the audience and her mates, what really drew the emotions of those present, including dignitaries like Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and the former President of Botswana, Mr Festus Mogae, was her valediction.
She mentioned the challenges she and her mates encountered in the course of their studies. Dr Fatima went on to eulogise her deceased mother for the tremendous support and the encouragement she received from her. She described her as a mentor, friend and pillar behind all her successes.
“She brought me up to become the woman she wanted me to be; and today I have achieved that objective, but sadly she is no more to see me realise her dream,” Dr Fatima lamented.
Apart from receiving the best graduating medical student award and also being proclaimed as the finest in obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr Fatima had earlier obtained a prize as the best medical student in the pre-clinical year in the medical school in the 2008-2009 academic year.
That is not all as the budding-doctor later in the 2011-2012 academic year was also recognised by her peers who voted her as a National Officer on Medical Education, which recognition came from the International Federation of Medical Students.
She also served as the vice president of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the UDS-Tamale campus for the period 2008-2009.
Coming from the northern part of the country where female education is down the ladder, Dr Fatima’s achievements do not only serve as an encouragement to young and upcoming girls in the area, but her resilience and hard work also make her a role model.
According to the 2010 population and housing census, the literacy rates for those aged 15 and above in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions are 33, 41 and 40 per cent respectively, as compared with a corresponding national literacy rate of 72 per cent.
The situation is even worse for girls, particularly those in Muslim communities. It is, therefore, hoped that patients, especially women whom she attends to daily, at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, where she is currently undergoing her Housemanship, would be encouraged not only to enrol their children in school, but also make sure they complete their studies successfully to take up national responsibilities.
Dr Fatima attended the St Gabriel Primary School from 1993 to 1997 and later proceeded to the Presbyterian Experimental Junior High School - both in Tamale - where she came out with aggregate six in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Following her sterling performance, she gained admission to St Louis Senior High School in Kumasi, where she subsequently obtained aggregate eight (8) in the sciences in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), thus paving the way for her to enter the Medical School of the UDS in 2006.
Family and social life
The cute looking young lady already has a husband. She recently got married to Mr Suweidu Jehanfo early this year.
As a devout Muslim, Dr Fatima does not miss her five daily prayers. She meditates and regularly recites the Holy Quran.
Her hobbies include watching movies and visiting family and friends at her free time. She is also a philanthropist who loves reaching out to the underprivileged in society to offer a helping hand; a virtue she picked from her mother, Hajia Muniratu.
Dr Fatima advised young women and especially Muslim girls, to believe in themselves and their abilities and work selflessly to excel in all endeavours. She entreated young women to always make the best out of every situation and resources available to them while challenging them to study very hard in their respective fields of study and be mindful of their background.
“It is such dedication which will distinguish them and let their lights shine in every corner they may be. They should be leaders of change starting from their immediate environment; they should strengthen their faith as Muslims and live upright lives and at the end, Allah would richly reward them,” she admonished.