Good news…Birth Registration Strategy! Health Minister – Not yet!


Good news for public health planning, evaluation and research. The Federal Government has said it would on July 24, formally launch a nationwide child birth registration strategy. OK…its just the strategy….but that’s great. At least the government now seems to be planning.

We still await eagerly a new Minister of Health. Looking at the list sent to the Senate for screening, it is hard to pick an obvious choice. The one most taunted in the past few months, Prof Dora Akunyili, was not on the final list to the surprise of many. Reason? One making the rounds is that she was dropped because she closed down Aliko Dangote’s factory in Kano over the Vitamin A issue. Wheat Semolina (Danvita) produced by Dangote’ company was alleged not to have been fully fortified with vitamin A. THISDAY frames it thus: A woman very stubborn on principles, she reportedly told them that even if it was her blood brother that owned the factory, she would have applied the laws of the land in full. Therefore, fellow Nigerians, Prof. Akunyili is not qualified to be in Yar’Adua’s cabinet!

While many Nigerians still scratch their heads to figure out how the health sector reforms affected their lives in the last 8 years, one article suggest that these said will manifest on the lives of the people in the years to come. But at this point, other than the efforts of NAFDAC, there was little else that the man on the street can identify with. But we are hopeful.

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. Sad that someone who stands up for what is right is reprimanded rather than rewarded…..God bless Dora for standing despite all the opposition.

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