Inspired by the legacy of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, Wing Commander Adebowale Abiodun Omodunbi, provided clear leadership for the Nigerian military staff. Omodunbi, throughout her 35 years of military service, operated effectively beyond her rank. It is indeed a retirement well deserved. Omodunbi, a “modern-day Florence Nightingale” who had a lasting impact on the profession, is retired but not tired. Omodunbi’s Air Force nursing career reminds us how Florence Nightingale pioneered many nursing practices in hospitals today and how her role in military nursing established many years of compassion, care, and hope for those on the front line. Indeed, nurses’ work is never for themselves; their first thought is always for others. For Omodunbi, as an Air Force nurse, she considers her work a duty and a profession. For 35 years, Omodunbi placed patient care and the needs of colleagues before herself, showing dedication, empathy, and compassion. Omodunbi epitomised the personnel-focused professionalism of today’s Nigeria Air Force nursing.
Omodunbi, as a model of Air Force nursing service personnel, contributed to excellent, dedicated care to Air Force members, families, and retirees. Omodunbi’s retirement after 35 years of sacrificial service to the nation called for more support to the mission of the Nigeria Air Force Medical Service to provide medical support necessary to maintain the highest degree of combat readiness and effectiveness of the NAF, or in today’s words, “to maintain a fit, fighting force.” Air Force nurses have contributed to this mission in wartime and peacetime, providing leadership, caring, and quality care. Air Force nurses consider their customer-focused mission combining “Global Nursing” and “Precision Care.” Omodunbi’s retirement ‘reminds us of our past and recognizes the tremendous milestones and accomplishments of those who came before us—role models who provided the mentorship and guidance that helped shape today’s Air Force nurses.’
Born on January 8, 1967, at Ilesa, Osun State, to Pa Isaac Folorunso Farodoye and Mama Beatrice Abike Adeyebi Farodoye, both of blessed memories, Omodunbi attended Methodist Primary school, Oke-Oja Osu 1972-78; Atakumosa High School Osu, 1978-83; School of Nursing – Ife University Teaching Hosp, Wesley Guild Ilesa 1984-87; School of Midwifery – Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hosp, Wesley Guild Ilesa 1990 – 91; Nigeria Air Force Computer Training Institution Ikeja- 2001; School of Post Basic Nursing, Public Health Nursing, Ikoyi Lagos, 2001-2003; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, School of Community Health Officer, 2002-2003; Infectious Disease Institute Kampala Uganda, -2005; Benue State University Makurdi – 2011-2013, and Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomoso – 2000-2003.
Omodunbi obtained her Primary Six Certificate – Jun 1978; West African School Leaving Certificate – Jun 1983; Certificate of Registration (RN) – May 1987; Certification of Registration (RM) – March 1990; Certificate in Family Planning – Nov 2003; Certificate in Computer Appreciation – Jun 2001; HND Public Health Nursing -Sep 2003; HND Community Health Officer – Dec 2003; Certificate in Mgt of Anti-Retroviral Therapy -Dec 2005; Post Graduate Diploma in Theology – Aug 2005; Msc Health Management – 2011-2013; and Bnsc -2000-2003.
Omodunbi, very grateful for the opportunities provided as an Air Force nursing officer, has experienced the happiest, saddest, and most challenging times in her life. As a nursing officer, Omodunbi has had the privilege of understanding precisely what it means to serve and some of the sacrifices made by many of her colleagues. Omodunbi’s exceptional command and leadership have enabled military nursing to contribute to complex and high-profile worldwide NAF operations. Through inspirational leadership, unwavering loyalty, and personal self-sacrifice, Omodunbi has had a direct, positive impact on the lives of the NAF community.
Omodunbi has attended numerous seminars, workshops, and international conferences at the local and international levels – including the 39th World Congress on Military Medicine Abuja, Nigeria Nov 2011; International Military HIV Med Conference Maputo, Mozambique-2011; Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference Atlanta Georgia – 2013; Medical Officers Stress Management Training, Tombouctou Mali, 2017; Gender issues in Peace Keeping, Tombouctou, Mali 2017; 6th Annual African Partnership Outbreak Response Alliance Conference Liberia Nov 2018
Omodunbi served at the NAF Medical Centre Ikeja as Nursing Officer – 1989-1992; at 81 Air Centre Medical Centre Benin as Nursing Officer – 1992-95; 107 HQ NAF Medical Centre Onikan Nursing Officer -1995-98; NAF Hospital Ikeja as Nursing Officer-1998 -2002; 99 AWS Medical Centre Kainji as Nursing Officer -2003-2005; NAF Hospital Ikeja Nursing Officer -2005-2009; Armed Forces Programme on AIDS Control (AFPAC) as Logistics Officer – Sep 2009-Dec 2010; Emergency Plan Implementation Programme MOD-EPIC as Training Officer – Dec 2010 –Feb 2015; NAF Mother and Child Hospital Badagry as Nursing Officer– Feb 2015-Jan 2016.; CO Nursing 47 NAF Hospital Yola – Jan 2016; Nigerian Level 2 Hospital Mali, Peacekeeper -Sep 2016- Sep 2017; Chairperson Welfare Committee, NIMED2 Tombouctou, Mali; OC Maternal and Child Health, 661 NAFH Sep 2017 – 2018; Matron 041 Communication Depot Med Cent Shasha- Jul 2018; CO Nursing 161 NAFH Makurdi Aug 2020 – Apr 2021; CO Nursing 661 NAFH Ikeja 2021- till date.
Omodunbi has a list of research topics and publications and military awards, especially silver medal in Armed Forces Games (Shooting Exercise) -1989; Best Shot Airwoman Logistic Command Shooting Exercise – 2001; FSS – 2008; Pjsc – 2009; MSS – 2021. Omodunbi held different appointments before retiring as the Commanding Officer of Nursing 661 NAFH 2021-2023.
Omodunbi was selected as one of the first military nurses to attend a Management of Anti-retroviral management course in Kampala, Uganda – in 2005. She started the Nurse Refill Services of the MOD-HIP program to reduce the physician’s workload and improve HIV services at the sites. She participated in and facilitated HIV/AIDS/Counselling and Continuous Quality Care Improvement training. She represented the Service in Uganda, Mozambique, Atlanta, Liberia, and Mali. She was the best-shot airwoman Logistic Command arms drill – 2001. She was the first female medical team lead at NAF Emergency Hospital Dalori Maiduguri in 2015. She is the first female Wing Commander from Osun State, 2015- 2023. Omodunbi, a former President of the Great Reformers Club, Osu, is happily married to Seyi Omodunbi, and they are blessed with godly children and a granddaughter. To God be the glory.