Dr. Frances E. Ilozue of Rapha Family Medicine is adamant that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Ilozue not only spreads the word at her place of worship, Bethesda World Harvest International Church, but on the third Saturday of every month, she teams up with her pastor, Bishop Michael A. Badger, to provide health tips on the church’s radio show, “Vision of Hope,” at 9 a.m. on WUFO 1080-AM.
“It makes no sense for anybody to wait until you are sick and then you go to the emergency room or you go to the doctor,” Ilozue said in between treating patients at her busy Main Street practice.
“We’re good people. We prescribe medication, but if there’s any way we can prevent something, why wait and just fall into the situation where you’re under the care of doctors?”
A native of Nigeria, Ilozue completed her medical studies in St. Petersburg, Russia. Prior to settling in Buffalo, she held positions in Enugu and Lagos in Nigeria. She completed her residency at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital, Johnstown, Pa., in 2007.
Shortly after opening her practice across the street from Sisters Hospital on Main Street, Ilozue launched her radio program on WUFO.
“I was doing a radio program with WUFO the first three years of my practice. That was 2007 to 2009,” she explained. “Then I got busy, and I wasn’t going there because I was not able to do it weekly. The program I have right now works out well because it’s not taxing me so much. I just have to do it once a month, but I have enough time to reach out to the community.”
Badger, who is not only her pastor, but also a patient, is very supportive of Ilozue’s outreach at the church and in the community as a whole.
“It’s important to have a talk show where folks can call in and talk to a doctor,” he said. “Hopefully, you can get them to be more conscious about their health and taking better care of themselves.”
Issues that Ilozue takes on include wellness, healthy eating, exercise and general health. On Saturday’s show, for instance, she warned against “greasy fried food ... that’s making people sick” and urged listeners to eat more vegetables.
Those are pretty much the same topics she has discussed during a weekly program she pursued every Saturday with other members of Bethesda World Harvest International Church.
She acknowledges that she is stymied by the notion that some people, particularly in the African-American community, don’t take more responsibility to pursue preventative measures to benefit their health.
“Why our people don’t go to check colon screening, cervical cancer screening, mammograms, prostate cancer, I have no clue why. There are too many theories about that. But what I can tell you is that that age has to be over, because whether we like it or not, there is no money to care for everybody who falls sick. So the resources are getting less. …
“On the other hand,” she added, “we’re having more people who need care, more to do with little resources. So prevention is the way to go.”