Bennet Omalu: Nigerian American doctor who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in athletes


Nigerian-American doctor Bennet Omalu will be remembered for a long time.

The 51-year-old Omalu was the first physician to discover and publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players.

A movie was released in his honour in 2015 in which Will Smith played the lead role Nigerian.

American physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist, Dr Bennet Omalu, was the first to discover and publish findings of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players while working at the Allegheny County coroner’s office in Pittsburgh.

His work has been praised all over the United States and a movie in which Will Smith played the role of Omalu was also released in 2015 in his honour.

Omalu was born in Nnokwa, Idemili South, Anambra, on September 30, 1968, the sixth of seven siblings. The renowned medical doctor moved to the United States in pursuit of better education and a master’s degree.

His journey and work led him to discover a disease that was found in athletes and war veterans. The Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries.

Symptoms may include behavioural and mood problems, and problems with thinking. Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia.

Meanwhile, Nigerian physiotherapist Dr Nnenna Chigbo has made giant strides in her field.

In fact, her good works have been recognised so much that she got an international award named after her.

The honour was bestowed on her during a World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The award titled “Nnenna Chigbo Educational Leadership Award” was given in recognition of Dr Chigbo’s contribution in excellent hard work in advancement of global education in HIV/AIDS, Oncology, Hospice and Palliative care (HOPE) rehabilitation.