Professor Abdulhamid Isah Dutse was an accomplished clinician, academician and administrator. Until his untimely demise, he was a professor of clinical haematology, former Dean of Faculty of Medicine; Bayero University Kano (BUK), former Chief Medical Director; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and erstwhile chairman, committee of CMDs. Before venturing into the academia, he had his footprint at state executive level where he served as Commissioner for Health and later as Secretary to the Government of Jigawa State.
In October 1998, I was given admission to study medicine in the Faculty of Medicine of Bayero University Kano, and Professor Dutse was the dean of the faculty then. It was during his tenure as the dean of the faculty that BUK started graduating medical doctors. Moreover, as the chair of the faculty, he had maintained an open-door policy while he held the office sway and was thereby obtaining first-hand information on the plight of his students. He had soft spot for students’ welfare as a result of which he made it a habit to meet monthly with class captains of 100 to 600 level. He was performing excellently as dean of the faculty when the office of CMD of AKTH became vacant. He applied and got the position. We were all disheartened for losing the fantastic dean but at the same time, we were happy for his meritorious appointment.
I have never worked in AKTH; however, I had my clinical training in the hospital when Prof Dutse was the Chief Medical Director. The leadership prowess and foresight of Prof Dutse manifested in full glare when he assumed the mantle of leadership of the institution. His leadership style coupled with unblemished human relation created enabling environment for people from different parts of the country to contribute their quota in developing the hospital. The likes of Prof Ajayi; a professor of surgery of international repute and Prof Achampong; one of the authors of the seminal surgery textbook (Principles and Practice of Surgery) have all been visitors in AKTH at one point or the other. Under his stewardship, the hospital grew in leaps and bounds to become a centre of excellence in Northwest geopolitical zone and beyond. More than half of the consultants and senior consultants in the hospital at the moment were either employed by him or were his students.
As the chief executive, he was generous and magnanimous; many occasion, as medical students, we used to see his hand-writings boldly inscribed on patient’s folder “this patient is exempted from all hospital bills for the next 48 hours”. As CMD, sometimes, out of passion, he performed the role of dean or even vice-chancellor. For instance, he was instrumental in connecting our students’ hostel (BUK property) to the hospital’s dedicated 33Kva line. I could remember there was a time as students when we applied for the release of hospital bus for one of our activities. The officer in charge was contemplating denying our request when his colleague cautioned him “kawai ka basu, yaran CMD ne, in kaki, agabanka zai basu”
As a teacher, he was punctual, excellent and knowledgeable. He never fails to percuss his students. He had always kept his students at their toes. You dare not attend his class without revising the previous lecture. Furthermore, Prof Dutse is classy, neat and clean person. We adored his white glasses and his lovely cars. He was so religious that we knew where he regularly packed his car every Friday whenever he came to BUK to observe Friday prayer.
If doctors had the power to stop death, Prof Isa Dutse would have been with us. Certainly, the medical community has lost a teacher, mentor and an achiever. His death has created a vacuum that will take a long time to be filled. He was indeed a rare gem.
Allah gafarta masa da rahma
Dr Abdullahi Sadiq Mohammed
Consultant Ophthalmologist/Glaucoma Specialist
National Eye Centre Kaduna.