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Prof Aisha Indo Mamman: First female Hematologist in Northern Nigeria

Prof Aisha Indo Mamman: First female Hematologist in Northern Nigeria

Professor Aisha Indo Mamman is a pacesetter, a renowned medical personal, illustrious daughter of Nigeria, and a distinguish Abusite. She is the first female Hematologist as well as the first female professor of Hematology and blood transfusion in Northern Nigeria.

Aisha was born into a complex family with close relatives coming from all six geo-political zones of the great country. Specifically in Bida on April 19, 1966. She is the first of her father’s nine children. Her father was then a teacher at St John primary school Bida, and her mother combined tailoring with trading.

She had her primary education in Kaduna, Zaria, and katsina and completed her primary education at Garama primary school Katsina in July 1977. She took the general certificate in education O’level exams in 1982 and passed with 9 credits. “The prizes I won in Bakori were the best students in French, geography and religion studies. While in Bakori, I was the Islamic affairs prefect, the French club President, and press club Secretary. I was a voluntary librarian and a girl guide.” She said.

Upon completion of her secondary education at Bakori, she was immediately offered admission by JAMB and the school of basic studies, Zaria, to read optometry in the University of Benin, and IJMB A levels at the school of basic studies respectively.

But the need to be close to home, made her choose the school of basic studies, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. On completing her A’levels in 1983, she was qualified to read medicine and surgery at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and graduated in 1988.

In addition to the bachelor of medicine and surgery, she was awarded two prices, namely, the George Edington memorial prize in laboratory medicine as well as the Glaxo Nigeria plc price in pediatric


While on national service, ABU embarked on human capacity development programs in medical specialties with the aim of training future teachers in the medical school.

It was an opportunity for the young Aisha to actualize her dream of either becoming a hematologist or pediatrician. According to her; “I prefer hematology because I wanted my career path in a specialty that had few practitioners.”

At the time, the hematologist in northern Nigeria who were either British or Indians had departed Nigeria with the onset of the brain drain and the two Nigerian being supported by the then Kano state government were away in the UK for training.

Prof Aisha Indo Mamman Said, she wanted the specialty where she could direct the investigation while taking care of her patients. One of her greatest desire at that time was to solve the Abiku or Ogbanje or Wabi myth so she could communicate the real cause of early childhood death to Nigerian parents who believed the superstition.

She began post-graduate training (residency) in hematology and blood transfusion in 1990 under the tutelage of Dr. Anna Onabolu and Col. Joseph O. Ibajie.

She completed post-graduate training in may 1999 under the guidance and mentorship of professor Muheeez Durasinmi, Norah Akinola, Dr Lateef Salawu (all in Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching hospital), Professor Sulaiman Akanmu (at college of Medicine, University of Lagos and the Lagos university teaching hospital) and the late Dr. Onwukeme and Adediran in Jos and Ile Ife respectively.

She was awarded the Majekudnmi Prize for the best part II fellowship candidate in hematology in 1999. That year, she became the first female to become a hematologist in northern Nigeria.

“I feel humbled and fulfilled that I teach and impact progressively in society. I like teaching especially postgraduate students. I also enjoy community outreach programs when one communicates some of the measures that can be adopted to prevent some of our common but life-threatening conditions.” She said.

Professor Aisha Indo Mamman has supervised several postgraduate students at masters, Ph.D., and medical fellowship levels. Some of them are associate professors and readers.


According to Prof Aisha Indo Mamman, her fondest childhood memories as a child were her Katsina and Bakori days. “Growing up in Katsina gave me the opportunity to forge a friendship with so many people. But more importantly, was the fact that our neighbors and friends of our family were stakeholders in our upbringing and discipline.” To use Winnie Mandela’s words, “I was a provincial Child”.

She said the provincial child concept means learning culinary skills from Katsina, Daura, and maradi. She also learned the cultural peculiarities of the different Emirates of Hausa land.

Classical works of ” maganan jarice” “Araminsani” and “Ruwan Bagaja” by Abubakar Imam alongside books like “Zaman mutun da san’arsa” the “sauna” duo and “labarun da danayanzu” sharpened her language skills and expand her knowledge base.

As the only girl among her playmates, each time she expresses an unusual skill or outpaced her male peers, her friend’s mother mama magajia would recite short stanzas of Hausa poetry as a price. she really looks forward to the end of the term for poetry.

According to her, “Weekends ushered in fura pounding sessions, our songs were in rhythmical harmony with each pound of the pestle as we crush millet to flour.”

Schooling in katsina in 1974 meant receiving most of her lessons in Hausa. But she and her colleagues learned English using two dictionaries, amus (the Hausa to English dictionary) by skinner and Michael west English dictionary. “I was shocked when I fail Hausa in my first term in katsina. It then dawned on me that I needed to learn the language fast.”

Back home, her father insisted she write language essays and summaries of storybooks like tales from the Arabian nights and shake the Zulu, Hercules.

Her teachers also made her Garama days memorable. “From all indications, their impact on our lives was a huge success as our class today boast of prominent doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, administrator.” “We have formed a Garama Alumni association. Mama magajia (may Allah have mercy on her) she was my griot. Bakori made me a global citizen.

This is because I was first taught by British teachers. I also cherish the memory of being a member of the stamp club. There I learned most things from nations of the world from culture through culinary habits to politics and diplomacy.”

Her interest in current affairs, literature and French made her a permanent member of the school quiz team. According to Prof Aisha Indo Mamman, her best bakori memory was in form five when she had to alternate between preparing for Olevel exams and participating in quiz competition across the old Kaduna state. Ruqayah Shuaibu Mohammed (Now with the Central Bank of Nigeria) and Aisha represent the old Kaduna state in the national school challenge quiz competition held in Maiduguri in 1982


While in primary school, Professor Aisha Indo Mamman wanted to be a nurse. Then in form two, “I changed my mind. I wanted to be an ophthalmologist. In my 3rd year of medical school, I opted for lab medicine.” “My father wanted me to be a teacher right from when I was in primary school. I now teach medical students at the University. I am both a teacher and a doctor.”


According to her, They include the spirit of hard work, respect for all persons, humility, fearlessness and a philosophical approach to issues.


Professor Aisha Indo Mamman has three children. Two girls (faydah and Rashidah) and a boy Abubakar. Each of her birth comes with joy and challenges. But her biggest joy is when her children start to read by themselves. “The joy knew no bounds and they are in a hurry to display there newly acquired skills. When my first daughter got married, there was no limit to my joy.”

Prof Aisha Indo Mamman was married twice. Her first husband was Yahaya Babayo whom she met in jos when she was a pre-registration house officer at the university teaching hospital. They met in the course of duty. She was married to him for nearly ten years until he died in 2001.

Her second husband late Mohammed Bawa was a brigadier general in the Nigerian army. He died in the September 2006 obudu-bound plane crash. She said, “my husbands were interested in sports. I learned to listen to sporting discussions. My first husband played basketball while the second play lawn tennis.”

My first husband supported in all stages of the residency training program. He escorted me to training centers in Lagos and made sure my children and I were comfortable before returning home. He insisted that I wrote my research proposal despite my nonchalant attitude. He practically “harassed” me into writing the dissertation to the extent that he allowed me to travel to Ile Ife. To complete my write-up with minimal distraction. My second husband helped developed an authorship strategy so I could plan how I wrote my papers for peer review. He also taught me how to mentor young colleagues”

Mentees of Prof Aisha Indo Mamman at the Centre for girl Education
Mentees of Prof Aisha Indo Mamman at the Centre for girl Education

Professor Abdulmumini Hassan Rafindadi, the pioneer vice-chancellor federal university Lokoja is an older brother who guided her every step throughout till this moment. “He was the lighthouse that guided my ship, his family provided succor at difficult times while he encouraged me at every stage of my training career.”

She also mentioned her uncle Brigadier-general Garba Abdulkadir as “one exceptional relative” who encouraged her in her career and marriage choices. He is one pillar who metamorphosed from an uncle to a father figure and most importantly a friend. All these people and more contributed to my development.”


Professor Aisha Indo Mamman said she wants to be known as a provincial child who grew into a global citizen – with a three-point educational agenda- learning about God and how to worship him, obtaining functional education that would guarantee freedom from slavery and oppression and to have as many skills as possible for sustainable economic security.

According to her profile, she has more than 76 completed research and 454 citations

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