Madam Priscilla Preye Appah (1936-2023)

Madam Priscilla Preye Appah hailed from Kaiama community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. She was a highly skilled nurse and midwifery practitioner, leaving a lasting impact on the healthcare sector in Nigeria.

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Nurse, Teacher

Early life

Madam Priscilla Preye Appah was born on the 28th of August 1936 at Kaiama maternity home, which was administered by the late Mrs. Christiana Koripamo. Mrs. Christiana Koripamo, the first midwife in the Niger Delta and a single-digit registered nurse/midwife in Nigeria, had a profound impact on Priscilla as she followed in the footsteps of this pioneering midwife. (For more information, you can read the biography of the late Mrs. Christiana Koripamo.)

Her father, Mr. Burudongha Appah, hailed from Wanka Wari in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, while her mother was Mrs. Banioru Obamein Rossanah Appah (nee Boufuru) of Igbelewari Okotiama town in Gbarain Ekpetiama, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.

Education

Priscilla Preye Appah initiated her educational journey in her hometown, Kaiama, attending the renowned Reverend Proctor Memorial School. It was in this school that she earned her First School Leaving Certificate and completed the Standard Six (6) examination in 1953.

In the mid-1950s, she ventured to Aba, Eastern Nigeria, where she enrolled at the General Hospital for a Grade Two Midwifery program. Excelling in her studies, she obtained commendable grades.

Returning to Old Rivers State, as a staff member of the Hospital Management Board, she furthered her education, achieving a Grade One Midwifery certificate on the 15th of December, 1977.

Not content with her Grade I Midwifery certification, she later applied to pursue General Nursing at the School of Nursing in Port Harcourt. Priscilla Preye Appah successfully obtained her General Nursing certificate on the 10th of April 1987.

During her time at the School of Nursing in Port Harcourt, old Rivers State, she was recognized as the oldest member of her class. Renowned late Doctor Long John affectionately nicknamed her “Great Grandmother,” a name that endured for a significant period.

Work life

After completing her primary education, Priscilla Preye Appah initially worked as a teacher in Gbarain before being transferred to Kaiama, where she taught for six months. However, she seized the opportunity to pursue her dream in the health sector.

Upon obtaining her midwifery certificate, she secured a job in the Sabagreia maternity home. Returning from Aba, Eastern Nigeria, on the 15th of April 1958, she worked alongside individuals like late Mrs. Agnes Ikpaikpai, late Abiodun Appah, and late Miss Roseline Okubo.

Priscilla later spent three years working as a domiciliary midwife in Lagos before returning home. She briefly worked at Oporoma maternity home as the pioneer midwife before transitioning to petty trading in foodstuffs.

Determined to fulfill her aspirations in the medical profession, she applied to the Rivers State Government and was employed on the 17th of September 1971, subsequently being posted to Yenagoa General Hospital. In 1974, she was transferred to the General Hospital in Port Harcourt, where she worked in various government clinics within the city.

Later, Priscilla Preye Appah was posted to the General Hospital Elele-Alimini, where she narrowly escaped an attack by armed robbers while she was on admission at the Port Harcourt General Hospital.

She was again transferred to the General Hospital Ahoada, where she served for almost nine years. When Bayelsa state was created in 1996, she was shortlisted for an office position but was denied the opportunity due to her specific medical training. Instead, she was posted to the General Hospital Okolobiri (now known as the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital), where she worked for four years.

On the 28th of August 2000, Priscilla Preye Appah was reinstated to the official designation of Chief Nursing Officer before eventually retiring in recognition of her many years of dedicated service to the state and the nation of Nigeria.

Her Faith

Madam Priscilla Preye Appah was raised in the Anglican faith by her mother, who played an active role in the church. The late Bishop E.T Dimieary baptized and confirmed her. She also served as a chorister and actively contributed to the growth and development of the church community.

Social Life

Throughout her lifetime, Madam Priscilla Preye Appah, a dedicated nurse, was known for her sociable nature. She played a valuable role in assisting many individuals, particularly within the Izon-speaking community. Her reputation for social mobilization was well-established, thanks to her exemplary leadership qualities exhibited both as a mother and as a professional. She held a prominent position in the women’s organization known as “Kaiama Ladies Progressive Women,” which was among the earliest such groups in the region to affiliate with the National Council of Women Societies of Nigeria in 1986.

Over her 87 years on this earth, Mama Priscilla Preye Appah demonstrated remarkable productivity. Not only was she an educator and teacher, but she also earned a reputation as a generous benefactor to those around her. Her multifaceted contributions left a lasting impact on her community and beyond.

Demise

Regrettably, on the 21st of September 2023, at approximately 3:15 am, Madam Priscilla Preye Appah peacefully passed away in her bedroom, entrusting herself to the Lord Jesus Christ. She leaves behind a legacy marked by her tenacity, unique and effective methods of connecting with people, and her exemplary professionalism. The memory of her contributions and qualities will undoubtedly endure as a testament to the impact she had on those who knew her.

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Abalijay
"Timeless Persons" is a personal blog project created by me with the aim of sharing the biographies of remarkable individuals from the Niger Delta region and beyond. The blog serves as a platform to captivate and stimulate your thoughts, encouraging reflection on the past, fostering a positive mindset in the present, and inspiring hope for a better future.