Dr Ikram Abdulrahman Ameer: I want to put smiles back on people's faces

Gynecologist and Obstetrician Plastic Surgeon Dr Ikram Abdulrahman Ameer during her homecoming party at the Tamarind Tree, Nairobi on September 9, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

When Dr Ikram Abdulrahman Ameer was a young girl, she dreamed of one day becoming a champion for change.

“Growing up, I was hurt watching the news on TV of women from the Somali community dying while giving birth. Hundreds of others would die due to lack of care. I wanted to be a voice of reason and ‘breathe’ life into them," Dr Ameer says. "At times children would struggle for survival, with no doctor, or nurse in hospitals to attend them. I wanted to bridge the gap, and serve my people to see them live a productive and happy life,” she recalls. 

Today, Dr Ikram Ameer is a trained obstetrician gynaecologist and plastic surgeon who is a role model for girls from her community.

Born in Doha, Qatar, Ameer was raised between her country of birth and Kenya, where members of her family live. She says that becoming a general doctor was not enough, she wanted to save the lives of mothers who were dying from birth complications. 

After completing her O levels, she joined Kharkiv National Medical University (KhNMU) in Ukraine for her education in general medicine between 2010 and 2016.

She then specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from 2016 to 2018.

“In Kenya and globally, maternal deaths are worrying. A large number of women die simply because they can’t access gynaecology services, whereas some develop birth-related complications that result in death,” says Dr Ameer.

Commissioner on Revenue Allocation Fatuma Gedi, Nominated MP Harun Zuleikha, Kiambu Woman Representative Ann Wamuratha,  Labour Cabinet Secretary CS Florence Bore  and Gynecologist Dr Ikram Abdulrahman Ameer during her celebrations at the Tamarind Tree, Nairobi on September 9, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Further, she enrolled at KhNMU to study plastic surgery, a course she completed last year. 

“I really enjoy giving hope to people who are suffering from third-degree burns," she says on why she chose the plastic surgery path, which focuses on restoration, reconstruction or alteration of the human body, including repair of injuries.

She says that patients who have had burns are also able to undergo tissue expansion through complex reconstructive surgeries through gradual tissue expansion techniques. 

"There are also people who lose their confidence after injuries. Through plastic surgery, I am looking forward to putting the smiles back on people's faces."

She says that excessive weight is a major concern in current society and that people suffer from underlying diseases and even face discrimination because of obesity. Through plastic surgery, individuals who are struggling with weight can attain a more contoured abdomen by removing excess skin and fat.

“Patients who are overweight can undergo weight loss procedures that explore safe and effective non-surgical options for achieving their weight loss goals,” explains Dr Ameer.

"Through the skills and knowledge I acquired, I want to give them confidence by ensuring they undergo successful procedures,” says the specialist doctor.

Her areas of interest in plastic surgery include abdominoplasty, where an individual is able to achieve a firm and toned abdomen through a transformative procedure.

And for the increasing number of breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy, plastic surgery can help in reconstructing their breasts, says the doctor.

The doctor is also keen on hair loss and growth treatments offered through advanced techniques and treatments for hair restoration.

After completing her studies in the Ukraine in February 2022, she went back to Qatar before traveling to Kenya where she is currently stationed.

She is currently working as a consultant with plans to open up a clinic in the country that will enable her to serve more patients in need of gynaecology and plastic surgery care.

Dr Ameer prides herself on having conducted several successful operations on women who were giving birth.  

While in Somalia with a team of doctors, she also successfully operated on more than 200 children with cleft lip and reviewed more than 500 cases. 

Dr Ameer was recently celebrated during a party celebration at the Tamarind Tree in Nairobi. 

Here, she was recognised as the first female plastic surgeon from the Somali community.

Kenya has only 45 registered plastic surgeons, whereas the United States of America (USA) has the highest number (7,500). Brazil ranks second with 6,000 surgeons followed by China. 

In attendance was Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore who said education is key to success, as it equips an individual with knowledge and life skills.

“When someone attends school, they are able to get a good job and also those not able to access employment can establish businesses,” observed Bore.

The CS further encouraged girls and women to push for various positions, saying that as much as Kenya is working towards attaining two-thirds gender rule, women still struggle to get positions in Parliament and within the cabinet.

Commissioner of Revenue Allocation (CRA) Fatuma Gedi applauded Ameer for her achievement.

“For us (Somali community), this is a big achievement because where we come from, the girls have been lagging behind in terms of opportunity. But this is a big achievement as one of us is coming to make a difference in Kenya, and our community,” said Gedi.

The achievement, she said, would inspire more girls to climb up the ladder of education.

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