The trio of accomplished icons in the Nigerian healthcare sector will be honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) by the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) on 21 June 2019 in Lagos. The awardees are Emeritus Professor Oladapo Olujimi Akinkugbe; Former Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo and Founder / Group Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical, Dr Stella Chinyelu Okoli.
The conferment of the LAA ceremony, which is part of a bigger awards night that will honour over 35 individuals and organisations that have made tremendous impacts in the Nigeria healthcare sector in 2018, will take place at a grand ballroom event in Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos.
In a press release by the organisers, Dr Wale Alabi, NHEA project director, expressed the delight of the conveners of the programme towards these distinguished personalities, as they have created their footprints in the sands of time in the healthcare industry, nationally and internationally.
“We feel honoured and excited by these personalities and their immense contributions in the development of healthcare both locally and internationally. They have exhibited excellence and distinguished themselves. We are proud of them”, he stated.
Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe, an Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ibadan received his medical degree from London University in 1958. After residency at The London and King’s College Hospitals, went up to Balliol College in Oxford University in 1962 for the D.Phil, working under Sir George Pickering FRS, Regius Professor of Medicine.
He proceeded to his MD (London) and Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and later to the Chair of Medicine in 1968. He was subsequently Dean of Medicine at Ibadan, Foundation Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, and in the 1980s Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council of the University of Port Harcourt. He was the foundation Chair of JAMB and Chair of the Management Board, University College Hospital, Ibadan.
He has served on many World Health Organisation Expert Committees on Cardiovascular Diseases and Health Manpower Development and on the prestigious WHO Global Advisory Committee on Health Research. He was also on the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Ciba Foundation in London for many years.
Professor Eyitayo Lambo holds both B.Sc., M.A. degrees in Economics and a Ph.D. degree in Operational Research applied to health systems. He is an awardee of the Fellowship of Operational Research (England), the Fellowship of the Nigerian Economic Society, and a Degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc., Honoris Causa) by Bingham University.
After spending 15 years at the University system, he was made a full Professor. He then took early and voluntary retirement to join the World Health Organization where he worked for 10 years before taking yet another early and voluntary retirement. He served as Nigeria’s Minister of Health from 2003 to 2007.
Achievements recorded during his tenure included: Development and implementation of Nigeria’s first comprehensive Health Sector Reform Programme (2004-2007); Drafting of the National Health Bill which eventually became Nigeria’s National Health Act in 2014; Launching of the Formal Sector Programme of the National Health Insurance Scheme; Establishment of the National Blood Transfusion Service; Re-furbishing and re-equipping of 8 Federal Teaching Hospitals and movement of four of them to their permanent sites.
Dr Stella Chinyelu Okoli, is the Founder and Group Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited. She obtained her B.Pharm (Hons) and an MSc in Bio-Pharmaceutics from University of London, Chelsea College in 1971. She has attended he Harvard Business School Owner Manager Programme; the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School and I.E.S.E, Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
She founded Chike Okoli Foundation (COF) in 2006 in memory of her beloved son Chike. The Foundation set up a Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and trains over 250 students in entrepreneurship every year. The Foundation has reached over 1,500,000 people across Nigeria on lifestyle interventions. Under her leadership, Emzor which is her flagship contribution to the Nigeria healthcare sector has received numerous recognitions for their commitment to quality and excellent performance over the years.
It will be recalled that, in 2018, the NHEA Lifetime Achievement Awardee was Rev. (Professor) ‘Fola Tayo, a pharmacist and pharmacologist.