An excellent book by Dr Ana


There are extremely few books on aspects of the health sector in Nigeria. Why is this important? The critical thinking that needs to happen to transform the health sector is started again with every new administration. This is unfortunate.

So when we were recently invited to a book launch for this book titled “Whole System Change of Failing Health Systems“, we were obliged to attend.

Not only did we find this book fascinating, but the author himself has a fascinating story. But first let us consider the context. As Governor Fashola is today considered the most progressive Governor of a state in Nigeria, between 1999 and 2007 that honour belonged to the Governor of Cross River State – Mr Donald Duke. Donald Duke recruited Dr Ana  to become Commissioner of Health. Unlike most of our politicians who immediately start either a building programme or a medical equipment buying spree, Dr Ana took a different approach. Following a tour of health facilities in Cross River State he decided that the problems were  not solvable by buildings or MRI scanners. He set up the first Centre of Clinical Governance in Nigeria. This idea was later adopted by the National Council of Health in 2006.

Read some of his initial findings…..

There was virtually no emergency care provision, no hospital had an emergency preparedness plan functioning resuscitation equipment, not in theatres, not in the emergency rooms, not in the labour wards….

There was no ambulance service….there were a few vehicles called “ambulances” but they were de factor hearses….

No running water – not even in the General Hospital in Calabar….

Poor patient attendance, turn over, follow up…..  

It is a page turner – as this is not one of us that is accused of sitting on our arm chairs and writing. This is from a man that was invited to serve. So what did Dr Ana do about the situation he found?

To find out – you’ll have to buy the book – through

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. when it comes to health awareness nigerians. great initiative, hp it goes a long way to help solve this major problem in nigeria

  2. So what did Dr Ana do about the situation he found? She wrote a book that needed buying? “To find out – you’ll have to buy the book – through”. I dont fink so.

Leave A Reply