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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 181-207


Date of Web Publication29-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-896X.334063

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How to cite this article:
. Appendices. J Med Womens Assoc Niger 2021;6:181-207

How to cite this URL:
. Appendices. J Med Womens Assoc Niger [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 6];6:181-207. Available from: http://www.jmwan.org/text.asp?2021/6/2/181/334063

a. Conference Programme of Events

Medical Women's International Association, Near East and African Regional Congress

International Conference Centre, Abuja

24–27 March 2021

b. Communique following the 9th Medical Women's International Association, Near East and Africa Regional Congress, That Held at the Abuja International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria, from 24th to 27th March 2021


The 9th Medical Women's International Association (MWIA), Near East and Africa Region (NEAR) Congress held between 24th and 27th of March 2021 at the Abuja International Conference Centre. The theme of the congress was 'Accelerating Universal Health Coverage: Priorities, Opportunities and Challenges'. The Congress adopted a hybrid model – physical and virtual attendance – in cognizance of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and the preventive protocols put in place by Government.

The Congress had a total of 462 registered delegates. Participants comprised medical women from countries in the region (Benin Republic, Cameroun, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia); other members of MWIA and participants were from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Also present were representatives of government, Academia, development partners, private sector and CSOs.

The opening ceremony was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Osagie Ehanire. Also in attendance were the President of the MWIA; Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, the Regional Vice President MWIA NEAR, Dr Christine Sadia; the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Chair, Senate Committee on SDGs, Haj. Aishatu Binani; Chair, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe; Chair, House Committee on Health, Dr Yusuf Tanko Sununu; and the President, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof Innocent Ujah. They all gave remarks/goodwill messages.

The Congress was preceded by a pre-Congress webinar on COVID-19 in the African Region, which was hosted by Africa Centers for Disease Control (ACDC). The keynote address was given by the former Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof Adenike Grange. Through very engaging plenary presentations, panel symposia, oral and poster-driven sessions, issues around the theme of the Congress were discussed and recommendations were proffered.


The Congress observed as follows:

  1. The health status of countries in the NEAR is poorer than that of all other regions in the world. Investments in health system strengthening, financial risk protection, population coverage with essential services and quality of care, which are critical for universal health coverage (UHC) attainment, are also lagging behind other regions. In the Region, out-of-pocket expenditure remains the dominant method of payment for health services, with limited coverage with financial risk protection schemes. Infrastructural deficits abound and critical gaps are manifest in the areas of medicines, vaccines, and commodities, including family planning commodities. Although gradual improvements were said to be recorded in the path towards UHC, access and coverage gaps remain and uneven for many critical services such as malaria, reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health plus nutrition (RMNCAH + N), HIV, TB, and other communicable and non-communicable diseases, with wide disparities recorded within and between countries in the region
  2. While the magnitude and the impact of COVID-19 in the region have been less than other regions of the world, there has been impressive response of African countries under the guidance of Africa CDC to the pandemic. However, in responding to the pandemic, there has been diversion of resources from other health services, especially primary healthcare and critical RMNCAH + N services; this is threatening to reverse the gains towards UHC and widening existing inequalities. Even though the pandemic is not gender-blind, the response has been; thus, it has not taken cognizance of the escalation of gender-based violence and the disproportionate socio-economic impact on women. The potential of the pandemic to strengthen regional partnerships and collaboration in surveillance, and medicines and vaccine production were noted. Inadequate response by government to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the general mistrust of government and widespread infodemics, leading to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy were highlighted.
  3. Provision of essential healthcare services to meet the needs of vulnerable groups, especially women, new-borns, children and adolescents, are critical to meeting the UHC goal of leaving no one behind. Unfortunately, critical gaps in availability and access to these services remain, with wide inequalities between countries and at sub-national levels. Social determinants of health, education, poverty levels, place of residence, among others influence access to these services. In addition, evidence from literature abound to show how these determinants further limit programming for some of these key target groups, including adolescents and disabled persons. Further, there is little investment in programming for some key health concerns, especially the prevalent gender-based violence. Access to life-saving commodities for mothers and children, including family planning commodities is becoming a challenge in many countries, with diversion of funds to respond to COVID-19 and failure of governments to budget or release the budget funds. The Congress decried the marginalisation of women in decision-making from the private to the public sphere, which could have ensured the participation of the women in decisions concerning their health
  4. Health workforce is the fulcrum of any health system. The dearth in the quantity, quality, distribution and motivation of health workers in the Region and the negative impact, especially on mental of COVID-19 on the health of workers, is worrisome. The brunt of the pandemic is on females as they constitute 70% of health workers globally. Sexual harassment of female health workers were identified as issues of concern
  5. Various challenges to UHC attainment were identified. These include significant gaps in health investments in the Region. For example, Africa contributes 24% to the global disease burden but only 3% and 1% to the human resource and health funding, respectively. Other challenges include rapid population growth, poverty, low status of women and gender inequities, comparatively poor investments in social and infrastructural development, inequalities in vulnerabilities, access to health information and services and health outcomes, limited exploitation of innovations and inadequate partnerships, networking and collaborations.

Recommendations and resolutions

In the light of the observations above, Congress is proffering the following recommendations:

1. To accelerate progress towards UHC, the Congress calls on Governments in the Region to:

  1. Allocate adequate resources for health, at least 15% of the national budgets, in line with Abuja Declaration. Ensure that the total health expenditure is at least 4-5% of the gross domestic product. While improving financial allocation to the sector, measures should be put in place to ensure efficiency in the utilisation of resources. In addition, governments should ramp up pre-payment to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure to not more than 40%
  2. Prioritise investment in primary healthcare system strengthening, including the community component, as this is one of the key strategies to UHC attainment
  3. Address as a matter of urgency human resource gaps: Develop and implement human resource plans at country and sub-national levels that respond to country-specific contexts and needs. Further, curricula of health training institutions should be revised periodically to respond to changing healthcare needs. Innovative strategies, including use of internet technology, should be put in place to enhance learning, mentoring and technical support for both pre-service and in-service health workers and also enhance health worker motivation
  4. Pay special attention to the health and social needs of vulnerable groups, including women adolescents and children. There should be no diversion of funds for RMNCAH + N towards COVID-19 response, instead the funding should be significantly increased and properly targeted to meet their needs. In addition, mechanisms should be put in place to track the allocation and release of these funds, including funds for family planning. Ensure that life-saving commodities for mothers and children are always available in health facilities
  5. Generate evidence on the various dimensions of inequalities in health and develop appropriate interventions, including measures to track these inequalities
  6. Promote collaboration between the health sector and other relevant sectors to promote health in all policies for tackling the social determinants of health, including redressing poverty and female empowerment in the areas of education and decision-making
  7. Invest at least 2% of the health budget, in line with the WHO recommendation to health research, and put in place a system for promoting health research, including collaborative researchers in the Region. Further, pro-actively commission medical research including repurposing of drugs and producing their own vaccines to meet the needs of the region, via collaboration of the member states
  8. Exploit low cost-effective life-saving innovations that abound for improving quality of healthcare in the region, including the development of a curriculum in biomedical engineering
  9. Strengthen partnerships, including with the private sector and collaborations at regional and national levels. Regional bodies such as African Union and Africa CDC should continue to provide leadership in this regard in their areas of comparative advantage
  10. Train medical doctors and other health workers as close to the communities as possible to encourage them to stay in-country after qualification and reduce the large exodus through brain drain
  11. Scale up community-based health services comprising health promotion, disease prevention, treatment and support to accelerate attaining UHC in a sustainable manner.

2. The MWIA, NEAR should support governments' efforts and initiatives for accelerating UHC in the region through:

  1. Advocacy to governments at all levels for the implementation of the recommendations made towards building a strong, resilient and sustainable health system that provides an essential package of quality, affordable, accessible and acceptable services, equitably, leaving no one behind
  2. Partnering and collaborating with government, regional bodies and other relevant stakeholders such as CSOs, development partners and the Academia, on programmes, projects and interventions that meaningfully impact on women, children and other vulnerable groups in the region
  3. Tracking government funding and expenditures for RMNCAH + N, including family planning
  4. Engaging and participating in the Africa CDC gender analysis of the impact of COVID-19 in the region while contributing to proffering solutions on issues or findings reported.
  5. Promoting greater involvement of men in all health interventions and related matters concerning women and children, who are the most vulnerable groups in most countries within the region
  6. Improving networking and sharing of best practices among health professionals in the region

Finally, the Congress wishes to acknowledge and thank UNFPA, dRPC, Pfizer, Kaduna State Government, Delta State Government, National Health Insurance Scheme, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and Jhpiego for their material and financial support that contributed to the success of the events.

Dr Christine Sadia Dr Mininim Oseji Dr Claribel Abam

Vice President National President Chair, Planning Committee


26th March 2021

c. Biographies of key note speaker and panelists

1. Prof Adenike Grange MBCHB, DCH, FMCPaed, FWACP, FAAP – Keynote Speaker

Prof Adenike Grange, after attending high school at the Methodist Girls High School, Lagos, and subsequently completing it at St. Francis College, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, in 1958, studied Medicine at St. Andrews University, Scotland, and graduated in 1964. She worked as House Officer at the Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham, and as Senior House Officer in Paediatrics at the Princess Louise Hospital for Children (St Mary's) in London, after which she obtained a Diploma in Child Health. In 1969, she returned to West Africa and worked as a medical officer in the Paediatric Unit of Santa Isabel Hospital in Equatorial Guinea. In 1971, she joined the Foundation Set of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Residency Programme in Nigeria from where she proceeded in 1973 to Stanford University in California, USA, to complete the training requirements in Research Methodology. After obtaining the Post Graduate Fellowship Diploma in Paediatrics in 1976, she became a lecturer at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria, and rose through the rank to the position of Professor of Paediatrics in 1995. Her early administrative experience included the Headship of the Department, Director of the Institute of Child Health and Primary Care and the Dean of School of Clinical Sciences. She has published and given invited academic and scientific presentations worldwide. She was President of Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch. She became the first sub-Saharan President of the International Pediatric Association. Subsequently, she served as the first female Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2007 to 2008. She was the first Provost and Medical Director of a 100 bed-children and women Paediatric Hospital situated in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, as a philanthropic donation to humanity by a business Mogul, Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun. Prof Adenike Grange specialises in development issues concerning children, women and communities in Nigeria and worldwide. She has a proven ability to motivate and work effectively with persons from other cultures and all walks of life. She was affiliated with the WHO, UNICEF, USAID and GAVI, for which she received an award as a Global Health Advocate. In her long career, she became known as a strong voice in the struggle to improve the health of children and women. Prof Grange is the Founder and Board Chairperson of AdeGrange Child Foundation and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Universal Health Coverage Action Network. Through these and other organisations, she continues to advocate for sustained improvement in the plight of children; for equity and universal coverage with quality healthcare for all.

2. Onoriode Ezire, M. Sc. (Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics) – World Bank

Onoriode Ezire is a Senior Health Specialist with the World Bank. Mr Ezire has over 20-year progressive experience in health systems strengthening, promoting access to quality and affordable healthcare to the poor and vulnerable. Onoriode is a health economist by training (holds a Master's degree in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics from Pompeu Fabra Universitat, Barcelona, Spain), health advocate by passion and in practice, promoter of equity and magnify of the voice of the voiceless (currently, a member of the World Bank African Region Human Development Working Group on Racism). Onoriode's efforts and that of others contributed in scaling up access to quality and affordable healthcare to millions of Nigerians, working with legislators at both state and national levels to pass relevant bills and push for the release of funds for the provision of quality healthcare services. Onoriode worked previously as the Country Director of Health Policy Plus (2017–2019), a Project implemented by Palladium in Nigeria. Using evidence-based advocacy, we persuaded governments at state and national level to appreciate the impact of rapid population increase on development. As the Chief of Party of Family Health Plus project (2014–2017), we rapidly scale up access to quality family planning services working with and through public and private health facilities in 20 Nigeria states. Onoriode is a public speaker inspiring young people to fulfil their potentials. Onoriode, one of the winners of the Emerging Voice for Global Health (2013), has over 35 research and programmatic-related work presented in international conferences and some published in peer-reviewed international journals. Mr Ezire enjoys his private life that is why working from home since March 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic has not been very challenging for him.

3. Prof Obinna Onwujekwe

Prof Obinna Onwujekwe is not only medically qualified but also has MSc and PhD in Health Economics. He is a Professor of Pharmacoeconomics/Pharmacoepidemiology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Professor of Health Economics, Systems and Policy in the Department of Health Administration and Management, both at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus. He is an adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Systems with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos. He is the Director of Research in the University of Nigeria, the Coordinator of the Health Policy Research Group and the President of the Nigerian Health Economics Association. He was the technical facilitator of the 2014 Presidential Summit on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria. He is a member of board of the African Health Economics and Policy Association and the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria. He is also the Director of the Nigerian National Centre on Health Policy and Systems, University of Nigeria, which is part of the African Health Observatory Platform on Health Systems. He is a member of The African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development of the WHO African Regional Office, the Nigerian National Health Research Committee, the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Socio-Economy Working Group of African Scientific Research and Innovation Council of the African Union. He is the editor of the African Journal of Health Economics. He has published more than 290 journal articles. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria. His detailed profile is at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Obinna_Onwujekwe.

4. Sanjana Bhardwaj-UNICEF

Dr Sanjana Bhardwaj was leading the portfolio covering maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and HIV programmes including the humanitarian and emergency response for UNICEF, Nigeria, as the Chief of Health and HIV until the end of February. She is currently heading the health portfolio for UNICEF, Bangladesh. Dr Bhardwaj has over 27 years of experience in the health and development sector in different capacities and roles. She has worked as a clinician serving at primary care, intensive care and tertiary care facilities in rural and urban areas in several states of India, served as a faculty member in the Community Medicine and Public Health Department at the University of the West Indies, based in Jamaica, working across 17 English-speaking countries in the Caribbean, led the child survival and development portfolio for UNICEF in South Africa and worked and contributed across different countries, such as Papua New Guinea, Barbados, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA. Dr Bhardwaj's interests focus on the realisation of child rights through an integrated systems approach to development, facilitating participation and dialogue across different stakeholder groups. She has led and pioneered the use of data for action and results in several national programmes, supporting development of various tools to support decentralised planning and budgeting. Dr Bhardwaj also works on innovative design platforms and tools with a human centred design and has led the design of virtual platforms and tools. Dr Bhardwaj spearheaded the development of child participation platforms with a focus on adolescents and young people in India linked with the HIV response and was in involved in the design of various programmes facilitating child and adolescent participation in the Caribbean and South Africa. Dr Bhardwaj has and continues to participate on several international and national forums and committees, with publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has contributed to chapters in books, training manuals and blogs across a wide range of topics in public health. She has served in several leadership roles including being the class and school captain through her school years, college cultural secretary in medical school, Senator at the School of Public Health in the USA. Dr Bhardwaj holds an MD–Doctorate in Medicine with specialisation in Preventive and Social Medicine from Mumbai University, India, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Nagpur University, India, Master's in Public Health degree in Health Behaviour from University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, and was recently awarded by Distinction, the Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health, UK.

5. Prof Akin Osibogun, MBBS., MPH., M. D., FMCPH., FWACP., FRSPH., CPPPS

Prof Akin Osibogun was appointed a Professor of Public Health at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, in 2001 and served as the Chief Medical Director/Chief Executive Officer of the 800-bed Lagos University Teaching Hospital from October 2006 to October 2014 during which period the hospital focussed on introduction and reactivation of specialised services including Renal Transplantation, Open Heart Surgery, Endoscopic and Laparascopic Surgery as well as expansion of Paediatric admission facilities among other innovative steps. He has also been active in the health development space as a Short-Term Consultant on Health System Strengthening to the WHO Geneva on various dates between 1993 and 2003; Visiting Fellow (Epidemiology) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1994; International Fellow at the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health, University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 1993; Visiting Lecturer at the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health 1994–1997; and Special Consultant on PHC to the Honourable Minister of Health, Nigeria, in 1998/1999. He also served as the Chairman, Faculty of Public Health of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria between January 2009 and December 2012. Among other research activities, he was the Principal Investigator (Nigeria) in the WHO Multi-Country Study on the Role of the Health Centre in District Health Systems (1994); member of the WHO Study on Chloroquine Resistance in Nigeria; Lead Report Writer and Epidemiologist, National Immunization Coverage Survey, 2003; Member, WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD Multi-country Study on Impact of Salt Iodisation on Iodine/Goitre Status, 1995; Team Member, 4th Country Programme Evaluation, UNFPA, 2001; and Principal Investigator (Nigeria) of the Multi-Country Study by Pharmacess on Anti-Retroviral Drug Resistance in Africa (2007–2013). He served as a member of the Presidential Committee on the Certification of the Eradication of Guinea Worm in Nigeria (Nigeria was certified Guinea Worm free in 2014). Prof Osibogun has over 120 publications including books, technical reports and in peer-reviewed journals. He has personally supervised over 100 Postgraduate Theses in Public Health and has had the opportunity of being an assessor for PhD Dissertations at the Universities of Ibadan in Nigeria; Amsterdam in The Netherlands and Western Sydney in Australia. He has a passion for supporting younger colleagues in their academic and professional pursuits. Prof Osibogun is currently the Vice President of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.

6. Dr Wang Alemu – Former WHO

Dr. Wondimagegnehu (Wondi) Alemu is an experienced leader in Global Health who has successfully and proudly served the World Health Organization (WHO) in various leadership levels for over two decades. During this time, he directed the development and implementation, of the very successful Integrated Disease Surveillance & Response (IDSR) Program, in the African region (1998-2008) and served as Head of Mission and Representative of WHO in Post-conflict Sierra Leone (2008-2013); Uganda (2013-2016) and Nigeria (2016-2018).

His impressive track record and passion for making impactful change has been demonstrated throughout his career, which began as a Medical Director of a rural hospital in his native Ethiopia. He continued to serve his country through other Public Health leadership roles including as Manager of Regional/Provincial Health Bureau; Manager of National Immunization Program (EPI) and serving as the Head of the Division of National Epidemiological Surveillance and Research. Before Joining WHO, he worked for UNICEF as a Health Project Officer and other capacities. He co-led the UNICEF's efforts to support the Ethiopian government in launching the district microplanning process for accelerating EPI coverage, an innovative approach to raise immunization coverage at the time.

Leveraging on WHO's strengthen as a lead technical health coordinating agency, Dr Wondi has coordinated health partners support to the coordinated health emergency and outbreak preparedness and response in Cholera and Lasa viral fever outbreaks in Sierra Leone, Marburg Viral Disease, cholera, measles, yellow fever in Uganda, cerebrospinal meningitis due to N. meningitidis, Lasa hemorrhagic fever, cholera, monkey pox and humanitarian crisis in North-Eastern Nigeria. Dr. Wondi's areas of expertise include strengthening health systems, epidemiology, public health surveillance, prevention and control and global health leadership and management. He has worked extensively with numerous African governments, NGOs, CSOs and intergovernmental & bilateral public health organizations. He is a strong advocate for community engagement in delivery of quality health care to the community, family and individuals. He is a champion for gender equality and empowerment and universal health coverage for all.


7. Prof Adesegun Fatusi

Adesegun Fatusi is a Nigerian Professor of Community Medicine and Public Health and currently the Vice Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo. He was a Director of International Research with the Guttmacher Institute, New York, before his current appointment. He has previously served in several leadership positions at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, including Provost of the College of Health Sciences; Director of the Institute of Public Health; Director, Population and Reproductive Health Programme; and Head, Department of Community Health. He also previously worked as an Adviser with UNFPA's programme in Nigeria (1996–2001) and has consulted for several international development organisations over the last two decades. He presently serves as the Chair of the Ondo State Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19. He is also the Chair of Nigeria's National Technical Working Group on Adolescent Health, the National President of the Society for Adolescent and Young People's Health in Nigeria, Vice-President (Sub-Saharan Africa) for the International Association for Adolescent Health and a member of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-being. He is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree and distinction in Community Health), University of Lagos (Master of Public Health), Hebrew University, Hadassah, Israel (International Master of Public Health – with summa cum laude honours) and University of Ibadan (PhD, Public Health). He was a past Population Leadership Fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, and Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. He is a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians in Community Health.

8. Prof Afua Adwo Jectey Hesse

Born on 11th September several decades ago in the garden city of Kumasi in Ghana, educated in Ghana, France and UK, she graduated as a doctor from the University of Ghana Medical School in December 1976 with a Gold medal as the best overall student in the year. She completed postgraduate training as a Fellow Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1981 and Paediatric Surgery training in 1983. She became a full Professor of Surgery at the University of Ghana Medical School and Surgery and President of the Accra College of Medicine, one of 2 private medical schools in Ghana, which she co-founded with her husband in 2014 which graduated their first batch of doctors in November 2010. She is a Past Head of the Department of Surgery, University of Ghana Medical School (the first female), and has also served as the first female Director of Medical Affairs of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital as well as the first female Chief Executive of the Hospital. She is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training in Surgery and Paediatric Surgery across Ghana and West Africa, having also served as the first female Chairperson of the Faculty of Surgery of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served MWIA as Chair of the Ethics and Resolutions Committee, Finance Committee, Scientific Committee and Vice-President for NEAR of MWIA. She was then elected as President-Elect of MWIA at the Triennial International Conference, the first in Africa, held in Accra in 2007. She served as the President of MWIA from 2010 to 2013. She is blessed with 4 biological children and 13 grandchildren.

9. Dr Mahler, Family Health International

Ms. Mahler is the Global HIV Director for Family Health International (FHI) 360 and Director of the EpiC Project. In this role, she oversees FHI 360's HIV portfolio which implements interventions across the prevention, care and treatment cascade in 40 countries. Ms Mahler is a proven programme director and leader; and a technical expert in biomedical HIV prevention, key and vulnerable populations, health communications, reproductive health, malaria and child survival; who is known for developing successful collaborations with private, public and NGO sector partners. She has 28 years of experience managing and providing technical assistance to USAID-funded HIV and public health programmes in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. Ms Mahler spent 10 years living and working in Tanzania on the HIV response. She has a Masters in Health Science from Johns Hopkins University.

10. Prof Angela Anene Okolo

A Professor of Paediatrics is a Neonatal Paediatrician with longstanding experience in teaching and research. She is a mentor and prolific writer. She is a fellow of several postgraduate colleges abroad and in Nigeria. She has accrued experience in health management and Management of Health Projects and has the capacity to work in a multi-cultural environment.

11. Prof Emmanuel Oladipo Otolorin B. Sc., MB. BS, FMCOG, FWACS, FICS, FRCOG

Prof Emmanuel Oladipo Otolorin was born on 16th November 1946 to the family of Late Dr Michael Price Olorunfemi Otolorin, a former Chief Medical Adviser to the Federal Government of Nigeria. He attended Igbobi College, Lagos, for his secondary education before admission to the University of Ibadan in 1965 for the Prelim-Medicine course. He entered the Ibadan Medical School in 1966 from where he obtained a 1st Class BSc degree in Human Anatomy in 1969 and an MBBS degree in 1972. Thereafter, he did his residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and the Newcastle General Hospital in the UK. On his return to Nigeria, he was appointed Lecturer/Consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Ibadan in 1981 and rose to the position of full Professor in 1988. He served as Chief Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist at the Taif Maternity Hospital in Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992. Thereafter, he was appointed the Pioneer Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, in 1993. He joined Jhpiego Corporation, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, in January 2000 as the pioneer Reproductive Health Advisor at the Regional Centre for Quality of Healthcare in Uganda and served from 2000 to 2002 before he was transferred to the Jhpiego Head Office in Baltimore, USA, from 2002 to 2004. He later served as Jhpiego's Regional HIV/AIDS Advisor in Lusaka, Zambia, from 2004 to 2005 before returning to Nigeria in January 2006. He established the Jhpiego office in Abuja in 2006 and served as the first Country Director from 2006 to 2017. He stepped down in May 2017 to take up his current position of Senior Regional Programmatic and Technical Advisor for the innovative Unitaid-funded Transforming Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Optimal Pregnancy (TIPTOP) project that aims to generate additional evidence for the value of community-directed interventions to increase access to quality-assured sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for the control of malaria in pregnancy. The TIPTOP project is currently being implemented in four Sub-Saharan African Countries, namely Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mozambique and Nigeria. Prof Otolorin has over 70 academic publications and was until recently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, former Chair of the Board of Management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in Sagamu, Nigeria, and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Olujimi Oladipo Akinkugbe Private Ward at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. Prof Otolorin is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Quality in Healthcare in Nigeria, Member of the Advisory Board of the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria, Member Board of Directors of the Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation, Member Board of Directors of TOVA Africa and current President of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association worldwide. He is also a Visiting Professor to the University of Medical Sciences in Ondo State. He is married to Dr (Mrs) Lillian Adekemi Otolorin, a retired Chief Consultant Radiologist and Permanent Secretary in Oyo State and National President-Elect of MWAN. They are blessed with children and grandchildren.

12. Dr Sam Oboche Agbo, Senior Health Advisor and Epidemiologist-Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Organization, Nigeria

Dr Sam Agbo graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, more than 38 years ago. He holds postdoctoral degrees in Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Finance, including an MBA in Business Administration from universities in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. For more than three decades, Dr Agbo led and coordinated a number of Development and Emergency response missions and programmes across Africa, South America and Asia, which included organised global health reviews, assessments and national project evaluation with respect to reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health in Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Western Tanzania and Palestine and conducted bottle-neck analysis and developed EPI policy technical guidelines for South Sudan. His experience included leading work with WHO, UNICEF and NGOs such as Save the Children, UK, in complex emergencies and challenging contexts such as Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Occupied territory of Palestine. He has contributed to research studies and in the development of effective monitoring tools and results framework to demonstrate socioeconomic inequalities and overcoming health system bottle-necks. He is a UHC advocate; promoting the vision and philosophy of 'leaving no one behind'. He remains a strong promoter of women and child rights to quality primary healthcare, immunisation, strong HS and UHC using innovative inclusive programme designs in typology of settings. He is a WHO fellow; a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow; Aspen New Voices Fellow and holds memberships of the several public institutions and bodies (IEA, Royal Society of Medicine, ESCMID, American Public Health Association, SPHERE, PHAP and Europe Health System Support group). He is presently the Senior Health Adviser with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Organization, Nigeria.

13. Dr Faisal Shuaib, MBBS, MPH, DrPH–ED NPHCDA

Dr Faisal Shuaib, a public health specialist and medical doctor, is the Executive Director and CEO of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) who led Nigeria's campaign against Ebola and worked for nearly a decade on the fight against polio, including heading Nigeria's efforts in the final years leading up to its successful eradication in August 2020. He oversees primary healthcare provision to Nigeria's more than 200 million people in his capacity as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria's NPHCDA. He was appointed in 2017 and led the final years of the polio eradication programme. In 2014, Dr Shuaib led Nigeria's response to the Ebola crisis as Head of the Nigeria Ebola Emergency Operation Center. The Ebola crisis infected 28,600 people, primarily in West Africa, causing 11,325 deaths. Dr Shuaib coordinated a team of over 1000 health workers and volunteers, establishing a comprehensive system that provided quality diagnostic, treatment, care and follow-up of Ebola patients, their contacts and their families. Nigeria suffered just eight deaths from the virus, and on 20th October 2014, the WHO declared Nigeria free of Ebola, thanks to what the New York Times called an 'extraordinarily vigorous effort'. Much of Dr Shuaib's career has been devoted to the eradication of polio, a disease which plagued Nigeria for decades and paralysed thousands of children. He served as Senior Technical Advisor to the Minister of State for Health on Immunization and Polio Eradication and was the Chief Operations Officer and Deputy Incident Manager of the National Polio Emergency Operation Center. Dr Shuaib designed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's polio outbreak response strategy and developed an innovative smartphone application to improve acute flaccid paralysis surveillance across the region. Having accounted for more than half of all global cases in 2012, in August 2020, Nigeria was declared to be wild polio-free by the WHO, an historic global public health achievement. Dr Shuaib is a respected expert on managing epidemics and has authored and co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He serves as a valuable resource for public health officials and has advised the WHO and the Nigeria's Ministry of Health on a range of subjects. He holds a medical degree from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in Nigeria and a Doctor of Public Health from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he graduated with distinction.

14. Raji Tajudeen MD, MPH, FWACP, Chatham House (APHL) Fellow

Taj is a medical doctor with postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics and Public Health. He is a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians and African Public Health Leaders Fellow of the Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK. He has years of senior level experience in Child Health, Health System Management, Health Diplomacy, Maternal and Child Health, and Health in Humanitarian Emergencies. He has worked in different settings in the developing world; Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. He is currently the Head of Public Health Institutes and Research at the Africa CDC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He coordinates the establishment and strengthening of National Public Health Institutes across the 55 African Union Member States. He oversees the establishment of the five Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centers in Lusaka, Abuja, Libreville, Nairobi and Cairo. He coordinates the Africa CDC Institute for Workforce Development and the public health research agenda. Taj heads the healthcare preparedness and countermeasures section of the Africa CDC COVID-19 response. He co-chairs the case management technical working group of the Africa Taskforce on COVID-19.

15. Abdulaziz Mohammed, MBBS, MPH-FE, MHPM, Fellow Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr Abdulaziz Mohammed is the Head of Disease control and Prevention of the Africa CDC, African Union commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the co-chair for the Infection Prevention and Control Technical Working Group for Africa CDC continental response to COVID-19. He is a senior epidemiologist and a clinician who attained the rank of Chief Consultant Neuro-psychiatrist. He holds an MBBS and AN MPH-FE degree of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and a Master of Health Planning and Management from the University of Maiduguri. He is a foundation fellow of the Africa CDC/African Union foundation fellowship for leadership in public health in Africa. He is a Fellow of the West African College of Physician (Psychiatry). Before joining Africa CDC, Dr Mohammed has diverse experience working on communicable and non-communicable diseases. During the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Lagos Nigeria, he was one of the international team of experts posted to the Ebola Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to helped control the outbreak. He served in both the epidemiology and case management pillars. As one of the two epidemiologists who took part in Africa CDC first continental outbreak response, he provided technical support to Nigeria Lassa fever outbreak response back in 2017. He also supported Nigeria during the largest outbreak of Meningococcal meningitis serotype C in the meningitis belt of the country where he facilitated the setting up of a subnational EOC to complement the national EOC in the worst affected state. He supported the After Action Review and development of the Nigerian CSM emergency preparedness and response plan. Other activities included serving in the national EOC for the response to Monkey Pox and contributing to the development of the Nigerian National guideline for Monkey pox outbreak response especially the psychosocial component. He has at various times either led or been part of the Africa CDC Ebola mission to DRC. He was part of a group of international experts that served as external assessors during the Joint External Evaluation for Eritrea. Before his current appointment, he previously served as the Principal Medical Epidemiologist with the Division of National Public Health Institute and Research of Africa CDC where he was the programme coordinator for Africa CDC first regional initiate to strengthen public Health in Central Africa. Dr Mohammed has over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, AJP, BMJ Global Health, BMC public health, and scientific reports.

16. UNFPA Representative (Bio not available)

17. Prof Petronella Ngiloi (Bio not available)

18. Dr P. Murthy (Sec. MWIA) (Bio not available)

d. Participants' attendance list

Total Registered Participants = 451

Total Nigerian Participants = 427 (Physical participants = 144; Virtual participants = 282; absent = 1)

Total International Participants = 24 (Mostly virtual).

List of registered international participants for Medical Women's International Association Near East and Africa Region Congress 24th–27th March 2021

e. Meet the congress rapporteurs


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