An Aberdeen GP has been recognised for her services to health inequalities among Scottish black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.
Adaeze Ifezulike has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours and said it will inspire her work going forward.
She said she was “blown away” when she found out she had been included on the list.
“I thought this type of award went to people who discover new planets or something, so I was quite blown away,” she said. “I’m really pleased.
“I’m so honoured by the award and I think it’s a great honour for Aberdeen and Scotland. It’s just going to inspire me to do a lot more work, I’m grateful to receive it.”
Encouraging vaccine uptake
Dr Ifezulike has dedicated much of her time over the past year to promoting uptake of the coronavirus vaccine among ethnic minority communities.
While continuing her work as a GP, she has lead the set up of mobile vaccine centres in places of faith and encouraged church and mosque leaders in the community to get jabbed.
She was also behind the creation of a “highly effective” video encouraging individuals to get vaccinated. It received recognition by NHS Grampian and aired on NHS social media channels.
She said: “At the beginning of the pandemic there was a lot of misinformation around the vaccine and there were lots of discussions around it affecting ethnic minorities.
“It was something I spent some time thinking about, how best to encourage. It was important to hear from them, hear what their issues were and why they were so worried.
“It’s something I got very passionate about once I started.”
A career full of achievements
Dr Ifezulike has had a number of career defining moments, including being nominated by the Family Planning Association UK for the impact of her work on women’s health and contraception within the black community.
She has brought together the NHS and local churches to offer health screening programmes which allowed access to often hard-to-reach groups, while her work to fight obesity resulted in 250 families engaging to manage their weight under her guidance.
Although her work is keeping her very busy, Dr Ifezulike said she will probably organise a “small celebration” in the new year to recognise her latest achievement.