Dr. Alfa Saadu, a highly rated and loved Nigerian doctor in the United Kingdom has died of Coronavirus at the age of 68.
The foremost doctor’s son, Dani Saadu confirmed his death via a post on Facebook. Dr. Saadu died on Tuesday afternoon after volunteering to help medical officials in combatting COVID-19 in the UK.
Dr. Saadu worked with the UK’s National Health Service for almost 40 years and contributed greatly to saving people’s lives in the UK and in Africa.
His son Dani Saadu said the family suggested he should go to hospital, but his father insisted he “did not want to take up a hospital bed because others would need it”.
Mr Saadu added: “He was a very passionate man, who cared about saving people.
“As soon as you spoke to him about medicine or what was happening with the NHS his eyes would light up – he was very passionate.
“He was working part-time as a locum as he just could not fully retire. He just loved medicine so much.
“He worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London and he loved to lecture people in the world of medicine, he did so in the UK and Africa.”
Tributes have come in for Dr. Saadu with colleagues saying he was a frontier in ensuring that minority staff also got senior positions at the NHS.
Described by some of his admirers as a “living legend” and someone who’s very “pleasurable to work with”, many have showered encomiums on the deceased geriatrician.
Inalilahi Wa Ina Ilaehi rajiun. 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.
— Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) March 31, 2020
Dani Saadu said about the importance of taking the virus seriously;
“I remember a few weeks ago when Boris Johnson said ‘be prepared to lose loved ones’,” he told the BBC.
“I got really angry and remember thinking, ‘why is he saying this? It is not the kind of thing you say on TV’.
“Now I understand what he means. People need to take this virus seriously. I have seen it first-hand – this virus kills people.”
He was born in Nigeria and graduated from the medical school at University College London in 1976. He became a consultant and later acting clinical director of the department for care of older people at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
He also worked as medical director and consultant physician at Ealing Hospital. He stepped down as medical director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in 2016 and had been working part-time at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
He was a past President of the Royal Society of Medicine Geriatrics and Gerontology group, and was an active member of the British Geriatrics Society, having been Chair of the North West Thames Region and an examiner for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine.
Devoted to furthering geriatric medicine both in the UK and Nigeria, Dr Sa’adu was a passionate and principled advocate for better healthcare for older people.
He bagged a B.Sc in Anatomy and Medicine and Surgery from the University College London in 1976.