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Black Body Illustrations Published in Medical Books

An illustration of a Black fetus in the womb went viral last December with many people commenting on social media that it was the first time they had seen a depiction of a dark-skinned fetus or pregnant woman. Chidiebere Ibe, 25, who is creative director at the Association of Future African Neurosurgeons, has now been invited to have some of his illustrations published in the second edition of a handbook designed to show how a range of conditions appear on dark skin. “Mind the Gap: A clinical handbook of signs and symptoms in Black and Brown Skin,” was first published in 2020. Co-author Malone Mukwende, a medical student in London, wrote over email that “Chidiebere’s work … unearths some of the biases that exist in medicine in plain sight that we may not be aware of. Representation in healthcare is imperative to ensure that we do not allow implicit biases to cultivate in our heads.” Ibe, who earned a chemistry degree in Nigeria and is now studying medicine in Ukraine, only began his medical illustrations in 2020. He has already created images depicting anatomy and a range of conditions, such as the skin disorder vitiligo, cold sores, a chest infection and spinal injuries, all in Black people.