African Times/USA 2010

Dr. Dapo Popoola: A man on a Mission

by Paul Ero/Special to African Times/USA

Greatness recedes to those who rest on their laurels. Dr. Dapo Popoola has never been one to shy away from challenges, wherever and however they may happen upon him. So,as he and the congregation listened to the Pastor and church members, who recently came back from a trip to Bombo, Uganda, proudly prance about in their African attire; something welled up inside of him that touched the fabric of his soul., which inspired the good doctor to undertake a medical mission to Bombo. That moment of epiphany gave rise to an exciting idea, leading to the birth of Operation Heal Africa Foundation. The church members were so charmed by their experiences in Uganda that they decided to go back and do something tangible to help the people.

The result of which is the making of “Bombo, the Medical Mission,” a documentary which was screened at the Beverly Hills film festival in the spring of 2010 to critical acclaim. True to his nature, Dr. Popoola’s motivation is the joy a healing mission brings to impoverished citizens of under privileged people wherever they may be. A resolute candor and a pioneering visionary, the young and adventurous lad in him have his sight set on another goal; using his acquired skill as a medical doctor to effect change in the world.

Born in Ilora, Nigeria, Popoola is no stranger to taking risks. He came to the United States at age eighteen, an ambitious teenager; Dapo settled in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon. He was a doctoral candidate at Loyola University Medical School, Maywood, Illinois. He would later graduate from the University of Illinois Medical School, Chicago. He relocated to Los Angeles for his general surgery internship in mid 1978, where he earned the award for the Most Outstanding Intern of the year, and has garnered other prestigious awards and grown tremendously in his personal and professional life.

Married to Lillie for thirthy years, they have two wonderful children. Dr. Popoola embraces the idea of doing for others, and blessing them with his share of abundance. Hence, it is no surprise that he would reach out to a people across the ocean, in the most rural of places, to help them with his medical expertise for free. Connecting with colleagues in the medical field and social contacts, he puts afoot a fundraiser to help Operation Heal Africa set sail for the next medical mission slated for the early part of 2011. This is the reason why he is undertaking the next mission to Nigeria .An executive member of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, (ANPA) Popoola is no stranger to his native land. Going on this mission, the first for Operation Heal Africa Foundation is especially rewarding.

This medical mission to Nigeria will primarily focus on eye diseases. Popoola has put together a group of eye specialists to embark on this project with him. The group will be working out of Dr. Awojobi Oluyombo’s clinic; a creatively unique doctor in his practice of medicine in rural Nigeria.
“The idea is to take this medical mission all over Africa and eventually the rest of the world, wherever our help is needed,” he said. Vibrant and joyful, Dr. Popoola effuses with enthusiasm when he talks about Operation Heal Africa. “This is my passion,” He added. A reserved and thoughtful fellow, Dr. Popoola is the Managing Director of Surgilite Bariatric Management. 22525 Maple Avenue, Suite 102. Torrance, CA 90505

Operation Heathy Africa Foundation (formerly known as Operation Heal Africa) is a CA non-profit 501(c)(3) Organization