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June 2012   
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IM Personality of the Month

Dr. Francis O. Ohanyido (FRSPH) - Project Manager, Pioneer African ICT for Health Advocate and Strategist


He is a Public Health Specialist, Project Manager, pioneer African ICT for health Advocate and Strategist. Dr. Ohanyido was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH) UK, because of his contribution to the field of Public Health. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) UK, Fellow of International Public Health (FIPH), and Chartered Professional Manager of the Nigerian Institute of Management with the rank of Associate (AMNIM), member of both the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI) and the Professional Learning Institute (PLI) | Center for Professional Development and Learning

He came into national limelight in Nigeria as a medical student in the 1990s for two reasons; firstly, for organizing the first student –driven campus outreaches for HIV/AIDS (Megahealth outreach) which was funded by HE (Sir) Fidelis Tapgun, a onetime Governor of Plateau state. Secondly, he was notable for his pro-democratic opposition to the Junta of the late General Sani Abacha.

His started his development-focused work in public health with stints in West-African region spanning United Nations agencies like OCHA and UNHCR, WHO and UNICEF. In Nigeria, he helped to develop the theme of Rights-Based Approach to healthcare delivery in Nigerian Health Sector in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF, and in 2002, served as Advisor cum legislative intern to Senate Committee on Health of Nigerian Senate, with funding from the United States Government through the National Democratic Institute of America (NDI). Through this position, he had brought to the fore the issues around health information management and technology issues. During this period, he was also the rapporteur that coordinated the UN MDGs Professional Support Group for Africa, a network of young African professionals supporting and advocating for systems strengthening towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was the vision of the group that well-developed information management systems were key to strengthening health systems and benchmarking the progress of MDGs. He was later to serve as the Special Advisor in the development sector to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and also worked as the Project Support Manager for USAID|COMPASS Project, the 100 million US Dollar flagship integrated project in health and education in Nigeria, where he brought in his knowledge, documentation and information management savvy to the closure of what is considered one of USAID’s very successful projects. 

From the point of technology for development, it is obvious that Ohanyido had been a pioneer and early advocate for exploring the potentials of ICT and Medicine convergence to improve the health of persons at the bottom of the pyramid, especially underserved communities across Africa. To this end, in 2003 he had founded an online advocacy platform called Nigerian Telemedicine Development Alliance (NTDA), which is now dissolved. This had been a major advocate that brought a lot of awareness to the possibilities of electronic health information management system (eHIMS), electronic Medical Records Systems (eMRS), and other facets of ehealth, mhealth, telemedicine and general health informatics. He was later to become the Deputy Secretary-General of the Society for Telemedicine and eHealth in Nigeria (SFTeHIN) the organisation that instituted the Pan-African Conference on Telemedicine and eHealth (PACTe) in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the African region. 

Because of his belief in cost–effective and affordable health informatics as a driver for health systems, he had thrown his weight with the Free and Open Software Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and also became a pioneer Vice-President and Council Member of the Open Source Foundation for Nigeria (OSFON). In this same vein, he has been part of the recently constituted West African Health Informatics Fellowship Programme (WAHIFP) located in Ghana. As a trustee of the Innovation for Development Initiative (IDI), he has strived to promote open standards for ICT, general informatics and learning to strengthen information management for development. In recognition of his contributions, he was invited to be part of the Avallain Africa team that worked with Google in five   African countries, viz; Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa to develop the Google Health Tips (GHT), a database of health information. This Avallain GHT project led by Ignatz Heinz and included others like Paul Jabore and Dr. Allan Mackenzie he also served as the Nigerian country source manager. With Cyril Nyulaku of, he co-designed an integrated information management approach  named “integrateur” and the training-focused “Codistran”. 

Currently, he holds advocacy positions as chair of the International Public Health Forum (IPHF) and the Nigerian Country Representative for the global campaign called “Health Information for All by 2015” (HIFA 2015).  He is also an affiliate of the Global Health Center of University of Wisconsin, faculty of the “Supercourse” of the WHO collaborating center at the University of Pittsburgh in USA, Global Health Tutor of the People-Uni, an Adjunct Professor of the Professional Learning Institute and member of the Science Advisory Board USA. Three years ago, he became a member of the Community of Practice of the Knowledge Management Group for Health, hosted by the American National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) for knowledge managers.

He is currently the Chief of Party| Team Leader, Africa for Synergy PMP® a project and knowledge management organisation working in development, especially the health sector. He is also consultants for the World Health Organisation’s African regional office(WHO | AFRO) in Congo Brazzaville for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) programme for which he developed the African Regional Framework for Monitoring and Evaluation, as wells as the database for NTD related publications. He has also consulted as a senior consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates' funded Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) . He also serves as Senior Consultnt that advises the Rt. Honourable House Leader of the House of Representatives of the Nigerian Legislature on development policy strategies.


He is a Harvard Medical School post-graduate alumnus, a recipient of the Global Health Scholar Award, and has an MB, BS degree, PGDA in Hospital and Health Services Administration, Public Health training, and other qualifications in Strategic Management, Project Management, and ICT. He is also an alumnus of the United Nations University 10th eGovernance class. He is listed on the Expert List of the mobile for development (M4D) of the International Institute for Mobile Technologies in Toronto, Canada.


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