Angela Ogechukwu Ugwu #WomeninScience

Angela Ogechukwu Ugwu is a Lecturer and a Consultant Haematologist with the Teaching hospital and the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku/ozalla. Her work includes research, clinical duties and teaching both medical students and resident doctors. She is pictured here with her resident doctors who are being trained to become "renowned haematologists in the future".

What excites you about your research?

As a haematologist, I take care of patients with blood disorders and ensure that patients are transfused with safe blood products.

Research is very important in medicine since many illnesses that besiege man are without care currently. The very thought of my contributing to the body of knowledge in Medicine, discovering and obtaining answers to research questions is intriguing.

My research work has enabled me attend many national and international professional conferences. There, I met a lot of researchers in my field of study and we have collaborated in many research works. Research opens doors to a lot of opportunities. Research is the future and helps make a difference.

What challenges have you faced?

The challenges include:

1. Poor documentation of clinical data in patients' case files.

2. Poor record keeping. Many institutions in my country still keep manual records. The information entered overtime will be torn and if stored, may be very difficult to retrieve.

3. Missing data: this is as a result of poor documentation system and poor storage of records.

4. Lack of and poor maintenance of laboratory equipment; sometimes the equipment are not serviced as and when due and thus may not give a reliable result.

5. Erratic electricity supply: this makes it nearly impossible to store your samples for prolonged periods of time for future use.

6. Inadequate funding for research.

What would you say to women and girls who might be interested in going into your area of research?

They should utilize the singular opportunity created by research to develop their abilities and talents. Research work is usually team work, which enables one to acquire great communication skills and independent thinking. Engaging in research makes you think of new ideas to pursue. Every research work opens up new areas of further research. It is exciting. Research helps you to move deeply in your field of study and, through publishing of your work, you become an icon in your field.

My field of research is transfusion medicine and like many other fields, a lot is on-going and a whole lot of knowledge is being discovered every day. Everyone is welcome to contribute his or her quota in making transfusion of blood and blood products safer.

Research has no limits to one’s sex or background. Everyone is encouraged to make a contribution to the world of knowledge.