Dayo Adeyanju, from Nigeria, is a former Commissioner for Health, and now Executive Director for the Guaranteed Healthcare Foundation. Here' he discusses the political and geographical contexts that could make neighbouring countries less willing to learn from one another.
Adeyanju Adedayo Kazeem has been Ondo State’s (Nigeria) award-winning Commissioner for Health since 2011. He holds qualifications from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, the Mahidol University, Thailand, and Harvard University, USA. His areas of interest include malaria, maternal health, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, patient advocacy, and environmental and natural resource management. As Ondo State’s Commissioner for Health, some of Adeyanju’s many achievements include: coordinating the state’s malaria programme; organising and formulating people-driven community projects to reduce poverty in the state; managing activities that led to a remarkable decline in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS (from 6.7% in 2001 to 2.3% in 2003); sustaining the state’s polio-free record (winning Ondo state both the 2013 and 2014 Bill & Melinda Gates Leadership Awards); supervising and monitoring the establishment of Emergency Medical Services; and conceptualising, designing and coordinating the implementation of the homegrown Abiye safe motherhood programme (maternal mortality was reduced from 742 per 100,000 live births to 253 per 100,000 live births), which has now been adopted by the World Bank as a benchmark for the African continent in tackling infant and maternal mortality. Adeyanju is committed to the concerns and well-being of his generation. He believes that the essence of life is living in the heart of humanity.