Final activities of our Minister of Health


Our Acting president has dissolved the Federal Executive Council. Conventional wisdom suggests that some of the ministers will be re-appointed while others will loose their positions. It is difficult to predict how things will turn out for our HMOH.

It appears such a short time ago when we were blogging on Professor Grange as Minister of Health, then we were blogging on the famed debate about who would get the health portfolio after Professors Osotimehin and Akunyili were nominated as ministers. Now we seem on the verge of starting a similar discussion for the few months remaining of this government’s life span.  

The Ministry of Health could do well with some stability at its helm. This might be the 3rd Minister in 3 years!

It is apt that the last few reports on the Minister’s activities related so closely to the major issues that confront the health sector.


Firstly – he was at the 53rd National Council on Health (NCH) meeting yesterday in Asaba, the Delta State capital…presenting his National Strategic Health Development Plan. This plan has been months in writing and has been widely consulted on. Now we are again on the verge of loosing it all. Nigerians pray that this plan will not be discarded…but will be the foundation of the development we seek in the health sector whether Prof stays or goes.

15/03/2009 Champion
Secondly – Prof launced a walk againt Polio. Lately there has been a lot of positive news about progress towards the elimination of Polio in Nigeria. If this turns out to be true – he will take some credit that the crucial decline occured during his tenure.

14/03/2009 PunchThirdly  – is the perverse funding situation where 70% of the Federal Governments spending on health care is spent on tertiary care – an amazing fact. This is a country that claims that primary health care is the bedrock of its health care delivery.

Lets see how events unfold.

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.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. He will also be remembered for not saying anything about the ill health of the President UMYA.
    He will also be remembered for the interesting proposal of spending colossal sums trying to build new so-called hospitals to stem the tide of travelling abroad for medical care. What we need is to make the current hospitals function properly, not engage in new white elephant projects.

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