Thought Leadership

Why we will continue blogging in 2010

At the end of 2009, one of our good friends intrigued by a blog we wrote, called to ask a simple question – why do you do it?

So, we reflected on this question this Christmas, always a good time for reflection. Some activities are dropped and others are picked up, In 2010 we will  continue blogging on the Nigerian Health Scene! But we have had to think about this question and try to provide an answer ….

Just two or three years ago, we viewed blogging as a harmless activity for people with too much time on their hands…..Since then we have seen how citizen journalism nearly brought down the Government in Iran, and the struggle continues. In Zimbabwe we saw how mobile phones were used to take pictures of election results at the periphery making falsification at the the centre difficult.

We have  realised the opportunity, indeed the responsibility we have in holding our leaders in the health sector accountable for their actions and inactions regarding our health. But more importantly – we feel that you have a right to know and we will draw to your attention the key issues.

We now see blogging as an important means of creating a more democratic and open and just society.

Fareed Zakaria eminent editor of Newsweek says in his piece in December..

This diffusion of knowledge may actually be the most important reason for the stability. The majority of the world’s nations have learned some basic lessons about political well-being and wealth creation.

So we have challenged our Government for working without a Minister of Health for 9 months (but now we are learning how the country can exist without a President) , we challenged our elected representatives for abdicating on their responsibilities for 4 years but at least finally passing a watered-down version of a National Health Bill (we gather it is awaiting the president’s signature). We wondered how a Vision 2020 committee on health can work in parallel and not together with the MOH…..yet we have reason to be optimistic.

We have a Minister of Health who is articulate in elucidating his vision and persuasive in forging dialogue among partners in the health sector…but in the final analyis he will only be judged by what he has done…In 2010…the job continues.

We end with this excellent Photo Story of 2009 by the World Health Organisation

Have an excellent new year!

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

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

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.

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