If you read this blog, you have no excuse not to knowing Professor Adetokunbo Lucas. Professor Lucas needs no introduction, the picture on the right, taken about 5 years ago is one of my prized possessions. “Prof” is one of the most accomplished physicians Nigeria has produced, yet he also carries himself with humility that is sadly rare among our elite.
When Professor Lucas writes a book, you should read it! His new book is due to be launched on Monday the 23rd of August at the Sheraton in Abuja.
The book is an autobiography in which Professor Lucas recounts major incidents in international health over the last 50 years. I can’t wait to lay my hands on the book. Timing here is everything. As you might have heard, our government is reported to be about to spend millions of Naira to “celebrate” 50 years of our existence. I have not read the book yet but I know that Prof’s book will no doubt be reflective of where we could have been as a nation after 50 years of independence. I am sure there will be nostalgia about the University College Ibadan and its unfulfilled promises, unfulfilled promises from the various policies he has helped draft for various governments. But Prof does not belong to Nigeria alone. His contributions really are to global health and his textbooks are read by medical students around the world. One thing Prof cannot be unfulfilled about, is the esteem in which his colleagues, peers, and students hold him. He truelly has had a career worth celebrating and this autobiography will definitely be worth reading!
In the profession…he is our own “FELA”! An every day hero!
Find an overview of the book below….
“IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES: FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL HEALTH”
Adetokunbo O. Lucas, OFR MD, DSc, FRCP, FFPH, FRCOG
The past few years have witnessed an expanded interest in international health, involving more organizations as well as much larger financial resources. This autobiography of Professor Adetokunbo O. Lucas recounts the background and life history of the author with particular reference to his involvement in and contributions to the development of global health. The book contains information and commentaries on major occurences in international health over the past 50 years. Viewed from a personal perspective, the book contains analysis and comments on key events that have expanded interest in various aspects of global health, and it also identifies threats and obstacles.
At the national level, the author was the first chairman of the Nigerian Medical Research Council (1973-75) and in 1984; he chaired the committee on national health policy which set the foundation of the nation’s health services. At the University of Ibadan, he developed a new approach to the teaching of public health. His personal research contributed new knowledge on the epidemiology of malaria, schistosominasis and other tropical infectious diseases.
The author has been closely associated with many major developments in global health. Notably, he directed the WHO Tropical Diseases Research programme (TDR) for a decade; the scientific advances that resulted from TDR have been credited for making significant contributions towards the elimination of leprosy, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis.
Professor Lucas was a member of the Commission on Health Research for Development which, in 1990, reported a radical review of health research globally with strong recommendations about the need for countries to develop and strengthen Essential National Health Research. Follow up of the report led to the creation of two international organizations: Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED), and the Global Forum for Health Research (GFHR). Dr. Lucas was the first chairperson of the Foundation Council of GFHR when this new entity was founded in 1997 to promote international health research. Other issues discussed in the book include new initiatives to promote public-private partnerships, the global solidarity for the control of tobacco, and the tragedy of high maternal mortality in developing countries and similar topics. He has served in an advisory role to WHO, UNICEF and other international agencies as well as to the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York and other organizations working in international health.
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