Francis Ohanyido

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Born in the North-Central city of Jos after the Nigerian -Biafran Civil War of Ufuma heritage is probably one of Nigeria's remarkable figures of his generation. He has carved a niche for himself as multi-layered intellectual (Poet, Essayist, Painter, Scientist) and Social Advocate.

Description




    • Born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
    • Occupation Author ,Physician and project manager
    • Nationality Nigerian
    • Notable award(s):
      • St. Piran’s Prize in Poetry, Jos -1996
      • Poet Laureate, Supercourse, Pittsburgh -2013



Technology Sans Frontières

Dr. Ohanyido has had a strong involvement in the convergence of technology and healthcare, especially as it concerns health information technologies . In 2003, as a result of the strong need to bridge the digital divide in healthcare in low-income settings like his home nation, coupled with his studies in computer applications in healthcare, he set up the web-based Nigerian Telemedicine Development Alliance (NTDA). This body was to serve as a fulcrum for online outreach and advocacy for telemedicine infrastructure in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. He has theorised on models for the possible cost-effective delivery of Telemedicine and eHealth in Nigeria. This singular effort by NTDA and other associates led to the development of strong interest on the part of the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider further studies and possible approaches to deployment of e-Health structures.

In 2008 , he had served as a board member and Deputy Secretary General of the Society for telemedicine and eHealth in Nigeria (SFTeHIN). He was one of the core SfTeHIN team that in collaboration with WHO, that instituted the PanAfrican Conference on Telemedicine and eHealth (PACTe). He has advocated to Nigeria and other countries in the low resource bracket to start thinking strategically ahead on smart investments in basic information and communications technologies (ICTs) to support their educational and health systems which can lead to a turnaround in global capacity to help solve mankind’s growing problems. The gates to this, he has suggested, will be by providing basic educational opportunities for all children and setting up efficient systems to keep track of learning trends and adaptively working to create a kind of flexible learning framework and knowledge management structure as part of a wider e-learning strategy. This will be able to ride on a system that allows research to inform policy.

2010, invited to be part of the Avallain Africa team that consulted for Google in five African countries, viz; Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa to develop the Google Health Tips (GHT), a database of health information. This international Avallain GHT project was led by Ignatz Heinz, founder of Avallain. In Kenya , this is known as iAfya . iAfya is a mobile Application service that serves as a comprehensive and well- trusted health information reference tool for the general public.

Between 2010-2011, as WHO/AFRO consultant, he undertook the development of the African Regional Framework for Monitoring and Evaluation for WHO, as well as the creation of the Electronic Database for Neglected Tropical Disease and related publications within the UN and extra-UN system.

In 2012, he was invited to the Board of the newly inaugurated West African Health Informatics Fellowship Programme as Vice-President.

He is listed on the Expert List of the mobile for development (M4D) of the International Institute for Mobile Technologies , Canada.

Records and Information Management Association(RIMA) in Africa recognised him as the Information Personality of the month of June , 2012.

Global Health

In the course of his work in international health, he has at various times collaborated or worked on platforms/ projects in the sector with WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNIFEM, USAID, WB, DfID and many other international organisations. During this period, he was made the Rapporteur that coordinated the UN MDGs Professional Support Group for Africa, a network of young African professionals supporting and advocating for systems strengthening to accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was the vision of the group that strengthening systems and benchmarking the progress of MDGs was key to delivering the goals. He was vocal about the MDGs , especially for MDG 4 and 5, which Nigeria has some of the worst indices.

He has been on the global Advocacy Working Group under Rollback Malaria , Geneva. He has also been a partner representative on WHO/EMRO's Stop-TB initiative in Cairo , Egypt.

He Chairs the International Public Health Forum (IPHF) a knowledge -sharing network with over 3000 members across more than 120 countries globally. He became officially its Global Health Ambassador in 2012.

Nigerian Health System

In Nigeria in 2002, Dr. Ohanyido became a major player in Nigeria's health sector reform efforts when he interned as a short-term Advisor to Senate Committee on Health of the Senate, a position funded by the US government through the National Democratic Institute (NDI) . He was later seconded to the Office of the Rt. Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He helped to develop the theme of Rights-Based Approach to social sector service delivery in Nigerian medical domain . In 2007, he was one of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) group delegates to the 2nd Nigeria in Diaspora Day and 3rd Science and Technology Conference where he made technical inputs in health on the issues and possible solutions. Between 2008-2010, he occupied a strategic advocacy position in Nigerian public health as the Special Advisor to the 36,000 member strong Nigerian Medical Association in the development sector. Further more, in 2008, he was also a key technical facilitator to the stakeholders summit in Nigerian medical sector for the development of a national framework and modality for implementation of a Continuous Medical Examination (CME)/ Continuous Professional Development (CPD), convened by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.

He had worked for USAID as the Project Support Manager under the aegis of Community Participation for Action in the Social Sectors (COMPASS), a 100 million US dollar flagship integrated project covering health and education. By 2009, at its project closeout, COMPASS goal was able to improve the health and education status of over 10 million Nigerians in communities spread across four states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. While on the management and technical team, he had worked to ensure that the project developed and documented best -practices for Nigeria to scale up lessons learnt on USAID | COMPASS Project. Through the funding of USAID he was able to give technical support to no less than 3 Ministers of Health /Federal Ministry of Health.

Since 2007, he has been on the Core Technical Committee of IMNCH chaired by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) of Nigeria with guidance from World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners to implement the program. He has also been a member of the National Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group (MIPWG) under the FMoH and he has also served as delegate to the National malaria Control Programme Review Committee (NMCPRC).

In 2011 he was drafted by the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) to serve as Facilitator for the National Health Sector Reform Coalition (NHSRC) in Nigeria , which is a group of nonstate actors leading the quest for the passage of the National Health Bill. He had facilitated the landmark Obudu Retreat that gathered both proponents and antagonists of the Health Bill for a watershed agreement.

In 2012 , with the support of Save the Children Nigeria, he briefly served as Special Interagency Liaison to The Presidency/National Planning Commission of Nigeria and line ministries, on the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in Nigeria . SUN, is a Movement founded by the United Nations , donors , researchers, nonstate actors and private sector on the fundamental agreement that all people have a right to food and good nutrition.

Afriquest Initiative and the Neo-African Renaissance

In the early years back in 1990, he convened what is now referred to as the Afriquest Initiative towards neo-African renaissance in Jos, Nigeria. It was a watershed in the Nigerian art sphere that gave rise to the concept of Afrisecaism. [2] Ohanyido’s writings, often classified as Afrisecal Movement draw on basic African experience including myths and traditions with contemporary ideograms. He is the thought leader of Afrisecal Philosophy that aims to reposition African leadership.

He is widely published in electronic and print media; like Clankind (2005) an 'anthologielle'; and among his Essays include A Vision without measure; A Neo-African Renaissance (2004) and Dearth of Honour (2006) and several other essays on health, politics, history, religion and philosophy.

He has also served as the chairman of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Kaduna Chapter as well as the Vice-Chairman of Kaduna Writers' League (KWL), Kaduna. [5]

The Bard

His path as a renown Nigerian poet and writer [3] was further highlighted when as an undergraduate medical student, he had been voted the Poet Laureate of St. Pirans' Youth Week held in Jos in 1996 for his poem 'Be Alert'. [4]

In March 2013, he was honoured as the Poet Laureate of the Supercourse of the University of Pittsburgh WHO Collaborating Center.

Advocating for Social Change

An outspoken critic of Nigerian Juntas, he had several encounters with the security apparatchiks of the late Sani Abacha, as a student activist. His Rights-focused advocacy has also been seen in his being part of notable coaliations such as Liberating the African Mind (LAM)'s European Airlines' Maltreatment of Africans Must Stop Campaign. More recently, in which he was a core signatory alongside Mary Robinson, Desmond Tutu, and other notables like Noam Chomsky for the GCAP/Whiteband/OXFAM Keep your promises to end poverty ! petition to G8 Ministers in 2007. In March 2009, following national outcry on the Presidential White Paper's failure to accept some of the key recommendations of the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC), Dr. Ohanyido was one of the Nigerians that were invited by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems(IFES), International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI)to participate in a National Dialogue on Electoral Reform.


References