Dr Chizo Agwu – Consultant Paediatrician in Diabetes and Endocrinology
She’s responsible for the care of children & young people with diabetes in the Sandwell area – helping them to manage their conditions.
Dr Agwu, who is also the ‘Children & Young People’s Champion’ at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, aims to empower and educate her patients so that they are in control of their chronic condition and can still fully enjoy their life.
Chizo said: “Looking after young patients with diabetes is very different from other work within the NHS. I see my role as an educator who passes knowledge to my patients and their families.
“I want to give them the confidence that as long as they are fully prepared they can manage their condition well.”
She explained how she has helped them to do so well: “At our service, we provide a number of educational opportunities for patients and their families. We also organise a number of social activities where our young patients can meet each other and share their experiences.
“We encourage and empower them, so they know they can achieve anything and their condition should not limit their potential.
“It is rewarding to see our young patients manage their condition well. It’s also a privilege to look after them.” Children attending her diabetes service achieve some of the best clinical outcomes in the country.
Dr Agwu is originally from Nigeria and came to England with her husband when she was 24. After carrying out her post graduate medical training, she joined the Trust in 1998 as a consultant Paediatrician and eventually became Clinical Director of children’s services for 6 years, overseeing the successful reconfiguration of Paediatric services across City and Sandwell hospitals.
As a highly respected clinician, she holds a number of national and international roles in shaping the care guidelines for children. She is the immediate past President of the Association of Children’s Diabetes Clinicians (but remains on the executive committee) and is on the advisory board for the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD). She is also helping the University of Birmingham to improve the candidate selection process to ensure they select the brightest medical students.
So how does she manage it all? “There’s no secret really,” she said. “I think when you get to do what you love, you will find time for it.”
When asked what motivates her, Dr Agwu added: “My mother encourages me to keep broadening my horizons. She says the sky’s the limit and so I strive every day to get better.”