Being in Nigeria at the moment, I picked up the papers to catch up on what is going on (online versions of Nigerian newspapers provide a small selection of featured articles everyday). Most of the papers over the weekend were filled with congratulatory messages to Prof Akunyili at 53!. I join millions of others in wishing her many more years of a fulfilled life. But, I could not help but wonder which of all those “well wishers” would still take the full page advertorials if she was to leave NAFDAC today. I thought back to when Prof Akunyili was my teacher in the University of Nigeria, Medical School. I do not remember any full page birthday wishes in those days. But, knowing Prof. Akunyili, I am sure that she will not be swayed by the attention seeking drug companies and other similar institutions. Her role in NAFDAC is primarily a regulatory one. No number of sweet worded, nicely coloured adverts should sway her from her mission. Else….people will die.
…as a footnote, it was also the birthday last weekend of the new Governor of Lagos State, Mr Fashola (SAN) He advised all those planning to take out newspaper adverts to visit charity homes on his behalf. They did! Enough said.
Finally, BUPA, UK’s premier private provider of health care has partnered with Reddington Hospital , a multi specialist institution in Nigeria. This will make all those who buy extra health care cover from BUPA access these medical services while in the country without paying. At least one less excuse for not coming home!
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