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African Women and the
British Health Service


Favour Olagunju

Favour was born in Nigeria in 1965, where she trained as a nurse in the 1980s. After working in various Nigerian hospitals, Favour moved to the UK in 2001. She talks about her experience retraining in Sheffield, working in Wales and London, culture shock and adjusting to life in the UK, her positive and negative experiences working in the health service, and offers advice to young people today.


"From when I was young, I've shown a lot of interest in caring for people. From when I was in secondary school, I’ve been determined that I would like to be a nurse. We were not too far from [the] hospital, so each time we [would] see the nurses in and out, because the compound is just near the hospital. So when I look at them, the way they walk, the way they talk, or when I have cause to go to the hospital environment, I wanted to be one of like one of them. It was a profession that I had passion for. As much as I can, I try my best to encourage [choosing nursing]."


"I started nursing in Nigeria, way back in ‘86. I did my midwifery first. I entered the school of midwifery in September 1986 and I finished in 1988. After which, I worked for six months in a private hospital. I went for general nursing in University of Benin Teaching Hospital in March ‘89, and I finished in September 1990. I've been full time now since January 1991."

"I started with state hospital. That state hospital is in my local area in the Edo State of Nigeria. I was working in the state General Hospital up until December 1992. In  December 1992 , I had my first baby, so I now changed to join my husband in University College Hospital, UCH, in Ibadan. In Nigeria we only have 3 months maternity leave, so I joined them in December. But because I had a baby I didn’t go to the hospital until March 1993. I was there up to September 2001."

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