Proudly Nigerian at TEDGlobal II


Ike and I had the idea to start a blog on matters we felt both passionate about and competent to speak on after attending a phenomenal gathering at TEDGlobal in Arusha in 2007.

We had ring side seats …listening to exceptional talks by Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Patric Awuah, Euvin Naidoo and Eleni Gabri Madhin. …quietly wiping tears from our eyes pondering the missed opportunities of the past and the enthusiasm of these heroes of the present.

One talk was particularly poignant. Dr. Ernest Madu was a few years our senior at the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria. He runs the Heart Institute of the Caribbean in Kingston, Jamaica, where he proves that — with careful design, smart technical choices, and a true desire to serve — it’s possible to offer world-class health care in the developing world.

Sadly….he is NOT doing this in Nigeria. he would love to… After the success of this he was building an equivalent center in Port Harcourt. That was just before the rise in violence in the Niger Delta.

While focusing on AIDS, Malaria and TB, Ernest asked that we should not forget all the other important causes of illness and death!

His question: What would happen if any of us had a heart attack here in Arusha, Tanzania at 11pm at night……you know the answer 🙂

If you do not want to feel sad for Nigeria…do not watch this!

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. This well-laid out and loaded blog will break the heart of every patriot. My heart bleeds reading these avoidable catastrophes in Nigeria/Africa. The question persists: How do we synchronize our commitments to cause a sea change in our dear homeland? Otherwise the efforts of the Ted Madus and Prof Granges will continue to sink into the tepid gullies of endemic corruption in the homeland. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made her mark no doubt, but she barely managed to escape from the jackals snarling over bounties she prevented them from ‘chopping.’
    –Nduka Otiono

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