Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi, a recent Pharmacy graduate from the University of Ibadan and a nominee for Pharmanews PANSite of the Year Award, has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge, and The Duke of Sussex.
Adebisi receives the Diana Award for his work at Global Health Focus for advancing the roles research and advocacy can play in developmental work in Africa. His work has made major impacts in promoting health research-driven social changes in regions across Africa.
Despite limited access to resources, he has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and mentored more than 100 young people in health research. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he also published various articles on COVID-19 in order to provide evidence from the grassroot for pandemic preparedness and response in Africa. He has used his research skills to empower young people working on social and health projects in Nigeria and beyond. Being able to do this at a young age makes it inspirational and worth celebrating.
Adebisi’s passion has inspired an interest in research and he serves as a leading voice in promoting research and advocating research capacity building among students and young professionals in Nigeria and across Africa. He strongly believes Africa needs to invest in building the capacity of young people in research.
Additionally, he has led a number of projects aimed at driving positive changes ranging from advocating for health equity and inclusive health, harm reduction, smoking cessation and humane drug policy, and antimicrobial resistance among others. He is an inspiration and role model to many young people in Nigeria and across Africa.
When asked about his reaction upon receiving the news of the award, Adebisi said: “Simply ecstatic! It’s such an honour and privilege to have received the prestigious Diana Award among other young change-makers around the world for my work in promoting health research and building capacity of young people in research across Africa. I am motivated to do more!”.
Diana Award recipients have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society. Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.
Aďebisi was nominated for this award by his mentor, Professor Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III, who is the founder of Global Health Focus, an organisation that seeks to build critical thinkers and leaders in global health. Lucero-Prisno said “Adebisi deserves to be recognised for his exemplary work in advancing science and research in Africa. At a very young age and against all odds, he has proven that young Africans can be good scientists who can provide answers to many societal issues, particularly in the field of health which he focuses on.
His research leadership paved the way towards unleashing the geniuses in many young African minds. His exceptional feat of publishing numerous articles in scientific journals and winning competitive research grants even before finishing his undergraduate degree shows hope to the continent burdened with many diseases and health issues.”
There are 12 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further three panels representing countries outside of the UK. Each panel consist of three judges; one young person, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative. The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each UK region/nation/country will receive The Diana Award. Nominations are judged using the Criteria Guide and Scoring Guide which have been created to measure quality of youth social action.
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over the globe who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
Meet Pharmacist Adebisi
Adebisi is a pharmacist, a global health advocate and a budding health systems researcher with a special interest in global public health and developmental issues affecting the global south and beyond. He is committed to advancing global health through research, innovation, and advocacy.
He is the Director for Research and Thought Leaderships at Global Health Focus, an organisation that seeks to build critical thinkers and leaders in global health towards achieving health-related Sustainable Development Goals. He is also the Director for Research and Innovation at the African Young Leaders for Global Health and a student editor at the International Journal of Medical Students.
Adebisi is also the Research Lead at Campaign for Safer Alternatives, the first African-wide think tank that primarily focusses on reducing smoking-related harms and diseases. He was recently appointed as an Associate Editor for Annals of Public Health Issues. He is a co-convener of Pharma Incubation Hub, an initiative that aims to build capacity in Pharmacy students all through Nigerian universities exclusively through an intensive peer to peer and peer to professionals support among other diverse means. He is also an ex-ambassador of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH).
As an emerging global health leader, Adebisi is interested in driving sustainable health policies with research. He has published over 70 journal articles in many high impact journals including The Lancet, Journal of Global Health, Health Security, Tropical Medicine and Health, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Conflict and Health and Global Health Research and Policy among others. He has also contributed 2 book chapters in a Global Health Casebook by Global Health Institute of Wuhan University and another two book chapters in a public health advocacy book by the World Federation of Public Health Associations.
He has won numerous awards and attended many international conferences across Africa and Europe. His team won the 2018 Geneva’s Innovate4AMR Global Competition organised by World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, South Centre Geneva, ReAct- Action on Antibiotic Resistance and the International Federation of Medical Students Associations.
In 2019, Adebisi emerged as one of the winners of the second edition of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarships by Knowledge-Action-Change London. That same year, he was nominated as Pharmacy trainee of the year in Nigeria. In August 2020, Adebisi was awarded the joint RSTMH and National Institute of Health Research grant to conduct a study on public health responses and COVID-19 in 13 African Countries with a focus on risk communication, surveillance, and laboratory testing capacity.
In June 2021, Adebisi emerged the winner of enhanced harm reduction grant by Knowledge-Action-Change to advance the cause to reduce smoking-related diseases through research, innovation, and advocacy from the lens of harm reduction.