On the 6th November 2010, over 150 colleagues working in different capacities within the Nigerian health sector assembled at the beautiful facilities of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for the second of the Nigeria: Partnership for Health conferences. These conferences are a collaboration between Nigerian health professionals in the Diaspora, and health professionals and institutions in Nigeria, highlighting how we are engaging with the major health issues facing us both in preventive and curative medicine. The overarching aim is to garner enthusiasm and confidence in opportunities in the Nigerian health sector, nurturing new relationships and inspiring action. This year’s conference was organised and hosted by the Public Health Foundation of Nigeria.
But why bother with this conference in the first place? Nigeria is at a crucial point in its corporate existence, enjoying its longest period of sustained democratic governance, yet the lives of millions of ordinary Nigerians has remained largely unchanged. Several sectors of the economy have undergone astronomical growth. Over 70 million Nigerians now own mobile telephones, the financial sector has seen continuous growth despite some revelations of entrenched corruption, and the oil and gas sector remains the cash cow for the government. Despite this, progress has been very slow in the Nigerian health sector, and Nigerians are impatient for change.
Why should this be the fate of a country with a skilled health workforce inside and outside the country? How can we get Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to re-engage sustainably in the development of its health sector? How can our partners, donors and research institutions interested in health in Nigeria contribute to the improvement of the vast population’s health? How can we motivate the thousands of Nigerian health professionals in the Diaspora to re-engage and contribute to improving the health and health care of Nigerians? How can partnerships, research collaborations and links be initiated and sustained? These are some of the challenges we as Nigerians working in the health sector of countries in the West are confronted with. These are the issues focused on during the conference, following up on the highly successful inaugural conference in 2008.
The 2010 conference was aptly themed “Moving towards sustainable collaboration“.
Specific objectives included:
I. Identifying and exploring opportunities for collaboration between Nigerians and friends of Nigeria in its health sector, and mobilising Nigerians in the Diaspora to avail themselves of these opportunities for collaboration.
II. Mobilising and engaging Nigerians in the Diaspora working in the health sectors to contribute to the Nigerian Government’s vision for health and health care
III. To feedback on progress since the last successful Partnership for Health conference in 2008.
|Dr Ego Nnadozie, representing the Minister of Health|
|Dr Muhammad Pate, Professor Adenike Grange and Dr Ugo Okoli|
|Dr Dilly Anumba, President of MANSAG|
All the presentations at the conference Partnership for Health II are now online and you can view them all on our website: http://www.nigeriahealth.org/
Most of the pictures are now also on the website.
With these presentations online, and available to you and any other interested party, we will always be able to remind ourselves of the promises made by ourselves, our speakers and our government at these conferences.
Further reports on other sessions of the conference will follow shortly, including reports from the keynote speaker and the workshops.
Meanwhile….be the change you seek!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead