Meet Nigerian medical illustrator Chidiebere Ibe, 25, the man who illustrates black medical drawings to bring diversity to medicine. Photo: Chidiebere Ibe.
Meet Nigerian medical illustrator Chidiebere Ibe, 25, the man who illustrates black medical drawings to bring diversity to medicine. Photo: Chidiebere Ibe.

Nigerian medical illustrator Chidiebere Ibe brings diversity to medicine with black medical drawings

By Chad Williams Time of article published Dec 16, 2021

Share this article:

CAPE TOWN: Meet Nigerian Medical Illustrator Chidiebere Ibe, 25, the man who illustrates black medical drawings to bring diversity to medicine.

Ibe began drawing medical illustrations - such as a fetus in a womb, lung conditions and eczema - of patients who are black.

Chidiebere's work is starting a serious conversation in the exclusion of black people from medical literature.

"After this illustration went viral, I'm certain that the change would occur. Some publishers, authors have already started incorporating black skin illustrations," he said in a recent interview with Nigerian digital media platform, Legit.ng.

I wasn’t expecting it to go viral,” Ibe, the aspiring pediatric neurosurgeon, said of the image in an interview, with NBC News.com

“I was just sticking up for what I believe in, advocating for equality in health through medical illustrations. I made a deliberate action to constantly advocate that there be inclusion of black people in medical literature.”

He began publishing the images on social media, showing conditions like empyema thoracis and seborrheic eczema on black skin.

He is the creative director at the Association of Future African Neurosurgeons (AFAN), Young Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies (YCAANS) and creative director and chief medical illustrator of the Journal of Global Neurosurgery.

Ibe is passionate about contemporary illustrations of black patients.

He has worked to promote the use of black skin medical illustration in medical textbooks and public health materials, this has afforded him the opportunity to be featured in WebMD/Medscape, Maryland Neurosurgery and Globalscalpels podcast and other reputable institutions globally.

He hopes to pursue a career in paediatric neurosurgery and establish an association for black illustrators.

Taking to professional networking application LinkedIn, Ibe said he thanks God for everything he had done.

“Over the last few days, I have enjoyed immense support from the global community and numerous positive feedback on my works promoting diversity in medical illustrations. Thanks to everyone who has commended and encouraged me, liked and shared my works and those who have made critical suggestions for improvement.”

“A lot of thanks to everyone who has donated to my GoFundMe campaign. I have been overwhelmed by your support. I had set a target to raise £15 402 (R328 771) to fund just my tuition at Kyiv Medical University, Ukraine. Despite a slow start of the campaign, at the time of writing this post, I have now raised over £28 000. This is surreal.”

Ibe said he will be launching an initiative aimed at advocating for equal representation, diversity and inclusion in healthcare, training and mentorship for the underprivileged, supporting programmes that are focused on children’s health and generally increasing awareness in the area of health inequities in our communities. I African News Agency.

Share this article: