For their invaluable contributions towards ensuring better outcomes for public health in West Africa through innovation and universal best practice, outstanding public health professionals, including Prof. Chimezie Anyakora, Chief Executive Officer, Bloom Public Health; Dr Omokhudu Idogho, managing director, Society for Family Health Nigeria; Deacon Mike Egboh, former country director, Chemonics International; and Dr Amina Aminu Dorayi, country director, Pathfinder International, amongst others, have been honoured with Fellowship Awards by the Academy of Public Health (APH) of the West African Institute of Public Health (WAIPH).
The awards were conferred on them during an induction ceremony which took place on Thursday, 3 November, 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria. While giving the welcome address, Dr Francis Ohanyido, DG of the West African Institute of Public Health (WAIPH) and President of the Academy of Public Health (APH) stated that the induction ceremony themed “Financing Pandemic Preparedness and Response is not an Option” was an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous contributions and efforts of committed public health professionals to the advancement of public health in Nigeria and across West Africa.
The event which was well-attended paraded top-level government representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, public health professionals, and representatives of prominent international organisations, including USAID, UK FCDO, Jhpiego, HSRC and GH Raisoni University.
Speaking at the event, Professor Anyakora emphasised the commitment of Bloom Public Health towards bridging the gap in Africa’s public health sector through strategic partnerships. Amongst other transformational projects, he added that Bloom Public Health and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) are partnering to commence support for selected Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturing companies who produce malaria medications towards the attainment of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and also support them through the process of WHO Prequalification (WHO PQ) in a World Bank-funded project.
He also observed that the attainment of WHO PQ by the pharmaceutical manufacturers will undoubtedly establish their capability to produce medicines that consistently meet stringent standards of quality in line with WHO specifications and global standards.
According to Anyakora, “This intervention will radically transform the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria, putting it on a global pedestal.”
He further reiterated the commitment of Bloom Public Health to the development of public health professionals and pharmacists across the continent who can effectively tackle the existing challenges in Africa’s public health sector as stakeholders.
“Bloom Public Health is in advanced discussions with global organisations for the establishment of an African Pharmaceutical Academy which will provide training tailored to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, aiming to impact needed skills and expertise to address the paucity of workforce with expertise in regulatory science and quality assurance of medicines”, he said, adding that “this continent-wide intervention is being championed by the Bloom Public Health office in Rwanda towards providing a competent and sustainable workforce for the pharmaceutical industry in Africa.”
The WAIPH, which is the leading regional non-state health development organisation working to enhance enabling environment, professional development, research, standards, consulting and advisory services, as well as programme implementation, is the Keeper of the Regional Charter of Public Health in West Africa. The Academy of Public Health (APH) is the faculty of the Institute, which is a membership-based body that focuses on building a strong network of highly skilled and competent public health practitioners in the region and beyond.