One of joy ,admiration, respect and restoration of hope. On the other hand; dismissal-like oh-that woman.
The good news though and the reason I am writing this, is that the response from an enormous number of Nigerians both at home and abroad and indeed nations of the world will be the earlier response than the latter. The latter response will come from the perpetrators behind the manufacturing, distribution and sale of fake drugs and expired food and drinks in Nigeria.
For in 2001, Dora assumed office as the Director General of NAFDAC, at a time when the Country was flooded with fake drugs to an alarming level, even putting neighbouring African countries at alert. Studies and observations put the problem at well over 60percent.
She threw herself tirelessly into combating this endemic problem, in a way that can only be described as passion for life and humanity.
Akunyili set NAFDAC a part and placed it on a pedestal synonymous with transparency, hard work and sustenance. Both at home and abroad, she personally scrutinized processes from importation ,to manufacturing and retail. She launched a successful public awareness and enlightenment campaign that empowered every Nigerian to ask questions and make informed decisions on what medicine they buy and who from.
TRUSCAN- an innovative project by Dora to combat fake drugs enables buyers to check the integrity before purchase just by sending a text.
The Late Dora Akunyili received so many recognition and academic awards and merits in her lifetime ,both for her work at NAFDAC and service to the Nation and Youth in particular.
She is however, no stranger to awards and merits; she passed her First School Leaving Certificate with distinction in 1966 and the West African School Certificate with Grade 1 distinction in 1973.She consequently secured two Government scholarships because of these exceptional results. She graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka with B.Pharm(Hons)in 1978 and Phd in 1985. She was promoted to the Rank of Professor of Pharmacology in October 2000. Dora was also a Post Doctorate Fellow of University of London among so many others.
Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili sadly passed away on the 7th.June 2014 in India at the age of 59 after battling cancer, according to reports.
She was committed to the values of honesty, transparency and selfless service. May her soul continue to soar. Great job!.
#Watch out for Part 2 of this post.