By Iyemah David
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo has commended the former, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Authority (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib for the crucial role he played in aiding Nigeria during the challenging times of the wild polio and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Mulombo, who spoke during a valedictory session in honour of Shuaib, organised by the Forum of CEOs of State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies/Boards, acknowledged Shuaib’s invaluable contributions to the nation’s healthcare sector.
He said that Shuaib’s significant role during the Ebola outbreak and his leadership in achieving polio-free status for Nigeria, recognised by the WHO were vital milestones.
He said that his leadership and contributions were significant in the efforts to combat these health crises.
Mulombo said that Shuaib was leaving behind strong institutions, making it easier for the next leader.
“We’ll follow your path and support your success. Every Nigerian must have a mission, and you’ll discover your next one, sharing your expertise with the world. You’re a great example of courage and purpose. Thanks for your collaboration and contribution to Nigeria and WHO,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Eduardo Celades, Chief of Health at UNICEF Nigeria, said that true leadership was not just about making changes; but it was about connecting the past with the future and driving unwarranted changes successfully.
Celades said that Shuaib has been at the forefront of transforming Nigeria’s healthcare, from polio eradication to the revitalisation of primary healthcare.
“This vision has led to changes such as transitioning from stand-alone campaigns to integrated ones, introducing HPV vaccine, addressing rotavirus, implementing the PHC under one roof program, and making a real impact on the lives of the people of Nigeria, especially women and children,” he said.
He described Dr Shuaib as a brilliant individual, and it has been a true pleasure and an honour to be a part of his journey.
Prof. Oladapo A. Ladipo, Co-founder of Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), said that Shuaib has demonstrated great capabilities in the science of healthcare in the country.
Ladipo said that he has also developed and trained, health care workers that have benefited across the country.
He said that Dr Shuaib has done well with the financial resources, and has effectively and efficiently utilized the available resources.