The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) joins millions all over the world to felicitate with the World Health Assembly on the recent election of TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS (PhD) as the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). This positive development is indeed a landmark given that this remains the first time in the history of the WHO that an African would be elected to lead the organization.
Whereas we congratulate Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his election, we urge him as he prepares to assume office on 1st July 2017 to discharge this mandate with utmost sense of duty and responsibility. In a similar vein, we also salute the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) for the enthronement of merit system, competence, excellence and professionalism as represented by the election of Dr. Tedros over and above sentiments and territoriality.
For the purposes of emphasis, we wish to inform the Nigerian Public that Dr. Tedros is primarily a biologist and a Community Health expert and is neither a medical doctor nor a core health professional. His election as the new DG of WHO, therefore, has vindicated us and also reaffirms our all-time position that possession of good diagnostic and surgical skills are not a sine qua non for occupying managerial and leadership positions in the health sector as being peddled by the Nigerian doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association. Furthermore, his election has also debunked the position of NMA that has continued to propagate a despicable falsehood that the health sector is all about the medical doctor and the patient.
We therefore further wish to put on record that; were it to be purely a Nigerian affair, Dr. Tedros would have stood disqualified since by NMA standards, he is not medically qualified, as the NMA would have arm-twisted and blackmailed the Nigerian Government using the instruments of strike action and the usual false mantra of international best practices to surrender the position on egoistic grounds to a medical doctor, who may not necessarily have the requisite managerial skills to steer the organization to greater heights but would only use the position to advance clannish and sectional interests of the NMA of maintaining an unwholesome dominion of the health sector.
In the light of the foregoing, we therefore urge the Nigerian government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to take a cue from the World Health Assembly by liberalizing leadership positions in the health sector in Nigeria such that only the best emerges through a competitive process so as to enthrone competence and excellence in the health sector.
On this score, we seize this medium to call on government to initiate legislative processes that would eliminate borders or restriction for other health professionals attainment of leadership/managerial positions in the health sector through the review/ amendment of the extremely obnoxious Act 10 of 1985.
We state that this measure which would engender a healthy competition in the sector remains a sure way of improving our poor health indices in the country, bring lasting peace to the health sector and also guarantee the provision of quality healthcare services to Nigerians and thus stem the tide of medical tourism.
Pharm. Martins Oyewole