In recognition of his relentless commitment to effective healthcare delivery in the country, the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Professor Babatunde Salako, has been honoured with Africa’s Icon of Medical Transformation award.
The award was presented to him by the African Students Union Parliament (ASUP) at the NIMR’s Institute Boardroom on 6 February, with senior staff members of the institute and pressmen in attendance.
Speaking on the selection of Prof. Salako for the position, ASUP’s spokesperson, Abel Kewul described the NIMR DG as a leader who has dedicated his time and talents to championing the common good of mankind in accordance with the Pan-Africanism Ideology.
Kewul further highlighted other attributes in Prof. Salako, which made him the best qualified for the award.
These, he said, included his purposeful leadership, management acumen, health sector strategic development, qualitative healthcare delivery, training and research development, community and economic development, student and youth empowerment, national peace and international harmony, and charity to the less privileged.
ASUP Speaker, Abel Kewul, presenting the award plaque to Prof. Babatunde Salako, at the event.
He said: “While some privileged ones have chosen to perpetually bask in the euphoria of contentment and hedonism, rare kinds like our awardee has chosen a path that mitigates the adverse effect of this imbalance by leading a life of benevolence, compassion, astute, dedication to effective service delivery and Spartan patriotism”.
Responding to the kind gesture of the student parliament, Prof. Salako expressed appreciation to the group, adding that he was not completely surprised about the honour and visit, knowing full well that the public had been monitoring his good works and commitment to the well-being of humanity.
Prof. Salako also mentioned that NIMR is the oldest medical institute in Nigeria, and possibly in the entire African region to have received this recognition, due to the qualitative service delivery received by the citizenry.
He assured the student parliament on the willingness of the institution to support them, particularly on their campaign against drug abuse, as it is in line with NIMR’s programme to stem the tide of drug misuse in the communities.
“The future of the nation belongs to the youth and you have the opportunity now to work out a beautiful tomorrow for yourselves by destroying this evil attitude among your peers and groups in order to make Africa, and Nigeria have a pride of place”, he asserted.
Emphasising the need for all hands across various youth platforms to be on deck to achieve this feat against drug abuse, he urged all educational stakeholders and institutes to devote themselves to the cause.