The late Dr Alfa Saadu and his wife

A top British-Nigerian medical consultant, who worked for the NHS for almost 40 years, is the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Alfa Sa’adu died yesterday after contracting the virus while treating patients. The former London Medical director was said to have come out of retirement to save the lives of those affected by the global pandemic that have claimed the lives of hundreds in the United Kingdom.

Dr Sa‘adu’s son, Dani Sa’adu said his dad had been fighting the virus for two weeks before finally giving up the battle. He said on Facebook yesterday: “Today, at approximately 7:30am, Dr Alfa Sa’adu (my dad) died of the Coronavirus. He had been fighting the virus for two weeks but he could not fight anymore. 

“The NHS staff were amazing and did everything they could. My dad was a living legend, worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years saving people’s lives here and in Africa. Up until he got sick, he was still working part time and saving people.” 

Messages of condolence have been pouring in from across the United Kingdom and Africa. 

A statement from the Members of the Medical Association of Nigerians Across Great Britain also reads: “The loss of Dr Sa’adu is heartbreaking to so many of us. Messages have been pouring in from members and he has been described as another fallen soldier and star, a pillar for MANSAG and Nigerian Community at large and the epitome of all that is good in the world.”

Bukola Saraki, a former senate president of Nigeria said: “My condolences go to the family of late Dr. Alfa Sa’adu, the people of Pategi and Kwara State on the death of the foremost medical practitioner who passed away in London this morning. 

“Late Dr. Sa’adu provided leadership for our people in the diaspora as he served for many years as Chiarman, Kwara State Association of Nigeria (Kwasang UK). Back at home, he was a community leader and traditional office holder as Galadima of Pategi. He will be sorely missed.”

The top consultant was born in 1952 in Kwara state, Nigeria, and enrolled in Manorside Primary School, Finchley in London before attending Grammer school in Shropshire between 1961-70. 

He graduated from University College Hospital Medical School, London in 1976 and completed his MRCP exam within three years of graduation. He has been a full-time Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine since 1994 until five years ago when he drastically reduced his hours to pursue other interests. 

Dr Sa‘adu was the Divisional Clinical Director for Acute Medical Care (Accident and Emergency, General Medicine, Elderly Care and Sexual Health) in September 2002. He was an astute and compassionate clinician, teacher, trainer and researcher. 

Alfa held many different managerial positions within the NHS, including Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at the Ealing Hospital NHS Trust from February 2011 through to September 2014. He also served as the Interim Medical Director, Responsible Officer and Caldicott Guardian of the new merged Integrated Care Organisation known as the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.

Dr Alfa Sa’adu never forgot his roots, and he extended his service to Nigeria and parts of Africa. As one of the early MANSAG members, he contributed enormously to the growth of the organization and acted as a role model to many of our members. 

By Muritala Bakare

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