Prof. E.M. Essien, OFR
Prof E.M. is renowned Professor of Haematology with more than 40-years of experience. He worked at the University of Ibadan, as a clinical scientist, and subsequently became the head of Department of Haematology.
He was the first Chairman of the National AIDS Expert Committee and was responsible for the response strategy for the fight against HIV/AIDS/AIDS in Nigeria.
For his contributions in the field of Medicine and Public Health, Prof. Essien was awarded a national honour of the Order of The Federal Republic (OFR) and also elected the International Scientist of the year in 2003.
Prof. Essien has established several Medical Schools in Nigeria and abroad, among which are the University of Gambia Medical School, University of Calabar Medical College. He is currently at the University of Uyo Medical College.
Prof. Abdulsalam Nasidi, OON
Abdulsalami Nasidi, MD, Ph.D, is a physician with more than 32 years of experience in clinical medicine, public health, virology and the development of vaccines and biological products. Formerly Director of Public Health and Director, Special Duties, in the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria, he is now retired from Government. He currently serves as Chair of the EchiTAb Study group, Nigeria/UK, and Chair/Executive Officer of the Reach Care Foundation, Nigeria. He has served as Special Technical Adviser to two Ministers of Health.
He headed the Federal Vaccine Production Laboratory in Yaba for 7 years; while there he introduced a new method for the production of yellow fever vaccine, which was used successfully for the control of the 1986/1987 yellow fever outbreak in Benue State, Nigeria.
He was appointed as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for Polio Eradication and routine immunization in 2008 and his Task Force developed strategies that have led to the reduction by more than 95% and virtual elimination of circulating wild poliovirus in Nigeria. He co-developed Hepatitis B vaccine and anti-snake venom against the carpet viper and two other Nigerian poisonous snakes.
Appointed as Nigeria’s Chief Epidemiologist in 1991, he helped develop disease surveillance and notification system and a monthly epidemiological bulletin. In that position, he was also responsible for the IHR activities in the country. Dr Nasidi was also the Responsible Person for the National IHR Focal Point.
He was among 16 people who established the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, in Brussels, Belgium in the year 2002. He established Nigeria’s Country Coordinating Mechanism and served as its Chair for six years, in which position he oversaw the development of proposals that generated more than $600 million for Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS/AIDS, TB and Malaria programs. He also initiated a National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for Nigeria.
He headed the Nigerian health sector taskforce response to the H1N1 pandemic, and participated in designing the national response to the pandemic. With the outbreak of H1N1, he played an active role in establishing a Nigerian laboratory in Abuja capable of diagnosing the influenza viruses, which then became the WHO reference laboratory for the country.
He has served on several WHO committees, most recently as Nigerian delegate and as Vice-Chair in the Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: Sharing of Influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits. He participated in the related technical working group for three years and served as Chair of the Technical Working Group.
He has authored more than 50 scientific publications and has been recognized by his country with a national honour, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).
Dr. Nasidi earned his medical degree from Kalinin State Medical School, Tver, Russia, and his doctoral degree from the Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia. He did his post-doctorals and attachments at Institute Pasteur, Paris, F.I. Kimball Research Institute, New York, Liberian Institute of Biomedical research and University of Berlin, Germany.
Dr Nandul Durfa
Dr Nandul Durfa is a renowned Surgeon trained both in Nigeria and UK. He attended the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Faculty of Medicine between the years 1970-1975 and University of Edinburgh, Post Graduate Medical College, 1981. He obtained the following qualifications: MBBS (ABU Zaria) 1976, FRCSED 1982, FWACS 1988.
He served as a House Officer, General Hospital Jos after which he did his national service (NYSC) General Hospital, Bori Ogoni River State. He was appointed the Executive Secretary, Plateau State Health Service Mgt Board, 1986-1990 and Director Clinical services, Plateau State Ministry of Health, 1991-1993., Director General, Plateau State Ministry of Health, 1994-1995, Deputy Director Hospital Services Federal Ministry of Health, 1995-1999, Special Assistance (SA) to Honourable Minister of state for Health 1995-1997, Chief Medical Director (CMD) University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada Abuja, 1999-2007, Consultant Special Grade I, Department Special Projects FMOH, 2007-2009, Retired from Public Service in 2009 and is now the Managing Director, Reach Care Foundation.
Prof Tekena Harry
Professor Tekena Obu Harry is a renowned Virologist with more than 40 years of experience. He graduated with a B.Sc (Biology) Magna cum laude, Cutting ton University College, Liberia 1967, M.Sc (Virology) University of Kentucky, USA 1971 and Ph.D (Virology) University of Western Ontario, Canada 1976. Worked both in Nigeria (N.I.M.R., Lagos) and at Institute Pasteur, Paris, France
Positions held by Prof Harry include:
- Research Fellow II to Chief Research Fellow at the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Lagos 1976 to 1987
- Assistant Director (Medical Research) University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, 1987 to 1999
- Professor of Virology, University of Maiduguri, 1999 to 2006
- Director, WHO, National Poliomyelitis Laboratory, Maiduguri, 1998 to 2006
- Consultant virologist, Avian Influenza Project, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, 2006 to 2009
Areas of Research and experience:
- Anti-measles vaccination of children in Nigeria
- Residual polio paralysis among children in Nigeria
- Rabies and its control in Nigeria
- Various aspects of HIV/AIDS/AIDS in Nigeria: Its earliest detection, sero-epidemiology, blood donors, pregnant women, infants and children, commercial sex workers, molecular characterization of the virus from Nigeria patients.
He served on more than 21 committees, major ones include:
- Nigeria’s representative in the WHO’s Collaborating Group on HIV/AIDS-2, 1989 to 1994
- National Expert Advisory Committee on AIDS, 1986 to 1989
- Vice Chairman, Nigeria’s Country coordinating mechanism for the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS/AIDS, TB and Malaria, 2002 to 2006
- Task Force on National Immunization and Poliomyelitis Eradication in Nigeria, 2008 to 2009
He established a WHO reference laboratory for polio in a Department of Medicine, University of Maiduguri. Received the WHO special commendation for Polio Eradication in Nigeria 2007.