The ANPA President, Dr. Fiemu Nwariaku has issued the following memo to members:
April 8, 2011
From the Office of the President
Dear Colleagues, I would like to use this opportunity to provide you with information that is relevant to our organization as it begins to engage the leadership in Nigeria. That Nigeria has some of the worst health indices among developing countries is not news. The reasons for this are myriad and do not require reiteration in this forum. Suffice it to say that in response to the health sector challenges in Nigeria, ANPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria (FMOH), 6 years ago. Unfortunately, the MOU expired with no discernible action. Therefore a decision was made in June 2010 to renew the MOU and create an executive committee to begin the process of prioritizing tasks and delivering the necessary results.
I am pleased to report that the renewed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between ANPA, MANSAG (Medical Association of Nigerian Specialists and General Practitioners in the UK), and the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria was signed on February 14th 2011. ANPA was represented by Past President Julius Kpaduwa and me. During that event, the MOU was activated by convening a joint technical committee (JTC) which will function as the executive body for initiative arising out of the MOU. Immediately after signing the MOU, the Honorable Federal Minister of Health commemorated a fourteen-member JTC. Represented on the JTC are members of ANPA, MANSAG, FMOH, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and the Committee of Chief Medical Directors of Tertiary Hospitals. During his speech, the Honorable Minister for Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, reiterated the strategic plan by the FMOH to actively partner with Nigerian physicians in the Diaspora to help accomplish many of its objectives. In support of this, he pledged continuing support to the Diaspora Desk within the FMOH. Headed by Dr Bola Olowu, this unit has the responsibility for coordinating Diaspora activities in the health sector.
The MOU focuses on five specific areas including, Education and Training, Health-related Research, Service delivery and skills transfer, Quality Assurance in Healthcare delivery, and Private Sector Investments in the Health Sector (including Public Private Partnerships PPP and Private Investments).During the first meeting of the JTC on February 15th, members began the work of identifying priorities that match the resources of ANPA and MANSAG. The next meeting is scheduled for the summer of 2011. ANPA proposes to focus on Maternal/Child Health and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as the initial priorities. Our organization can then leverage our technical expertise and resources to address these priorities.
We strongly believe that this important initiative represents the beginning of a wonderful and highly desirable partnership. It supports our long held opinion that the immense professional resources within Nigerian physicians in the Diaspora can be used as a catalyst for positive change in the health sector in Nigeria. The recognition of ANPA and MANSAG as partners with the FMOH will go a long way to facilitate our in-country activities. This relationship is also of benefit as we approach international development partners to support our programs in Nigeria. I hereby seek the assistance of all healthcare personnel who share our strong interest of improving the health sector in Nigeria, to please join this effort in any way possible. While we continue to seek financial support for these activities, I would like to emphasize that intellectual contributions, time commitment and expertise will be every bit as important to make this project successful. Anyone can indicate their interest by going to our website, www.f82.fd0.myftpupload.com
I strongly believe that our organization can be a positive force for good in Nigeria. However we will need all hands on deck to accomplish this goal. The coming months are likely to be an exciting time for our organization. I will continue to keep you informed as these activities evolve.
Fiemu E. Nwariaku, MD, FACS, FWACS
President, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas Inc.