Nigerian student captures global attention for illustrating medical images in black

Nigerian student captures global attention for illustrating medical images in black

A Nigerian student identified as Chidiebere Ibe has captured the attention of a global audience for bringing black illustrations into medicine.

1st News reports that the illustrations by Ibe, 25, have gone viral worldwide.

The illustrations, which depict medical diagrams and depictions of human organs in black, stunned many around the world after they emerged on the internet recently. Ibe had bucked a trend which had, from time, seen diagrams or illustrations in medical media; as well as biology textbooks largely feature white- to pale-skinned bodies.

However, Ibe, a medical illustrator and neurosurgeon student at Kyiv Medical School in Ukraine, had challenged the age-long status quo when he shared the artwork of a black foetus. He had captioned it: “I’m black, and black is beautiful! Diversity in Medical Illustration. More of this should be encouraged!”

Thereafter, the post had blown up on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.

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Nigerian student

By the morning of Monday, December 20, 2021; it had gone viral, hitting 41,000 retweets and nearly 170, 000 likes. In a chat with NBC News which shared the images on its Twitter handle; the Nigerian medical student admitted he had no idea that the post would go viral.

“I wasn’t expecting it to go viral. 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.”

A native of Ebonyi State in South-East Nigeria, Ibe revealed that he noticed that the patients in medical diagrams are always depicted as white, so he decided to change that. Consequently, he had embarked on drawing medical illustrations in black thereafter and had been sharing same on social media several months ago before his black foetus illustrations went viral.

“Little did I understand what the drawing meant to a lot of people,” Ibe told NBC News.

“On my LinkedIn, on my Twitter, on my Instagram, I read the comments and they really touched me. I was crying. It was amazing to see how good people felt about it. People could see themselves in the drawing,” Ibe said.

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