Health Care Financing Training for HFG-Supported States (Nigeria) – Speaker Profiles

Health Care Financing Training for HFG-Supported States 

June 27 – July 1, 2016
Lagos, Nigeria

Speaker Profiles

Dr. Francis Nwachukwu Ukwuije

FRANCIS NWACHUKWU UKWUIJEFrancis Ukwuije is a Medical Doctor, Public Health Specialist, and a Senior Health Economist, with over 11 years of government, private sector, and NGO experience. He came to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in 2007 having earned the prestigious Nigerian President’s Honours Award as the Best and Most Outstanding Corps Member in Nigeria between 2005 and 2006. Dr. Ukwuije has been Senior Health Economist at the Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics, at the FMOH since June 2014. He pioneered the establishment of the Healthcare Financing Equity and Investment Branch, which provides central coordination for UHC in Nigeria. He is developing national Investment Case for Health; Health Financing policy and Implementation Strategy; Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Guidelines; and protocols that support evidence based budgeting and domestic resource mobilization. Dr. Ukwuije coordinates the National Healthcare Financing Equity and Investment TWG, the National inter-agency Task Team on the National Health Accounts (NHA) and leads efforts in making Performance Based Financing (PBF) a part of the national policy. He coordinates the National Health Act 2014 Core Secretariat and the Global Financing Facility (GFF) Secretariat.

Dr. Gafar Alawode

Nigeria COPDr. Gafar Alawode serves as Chief of Party for the USAID Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project in Nigeria. He is an experienced public health practitioner and a seasoned program manager. He has managed several donor-funded development projects in Nigeria and other developing countries. He began his career in international health with a British INGO, Merlin, as the Coordinator for the DFID-funded MCH and Primary Healthcare project in Liberia in 2006. He then went on to work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), managing a health systems strengthening, HIV, and TB, project funded by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Population and Refugee Migration (BPRM), in Liberia. Dr. Alawode then became Nigeria Country Manager for Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health (LATH), where he was responsible for program coordination and development. He also managed a Global Fund Malaria project in Nigeria in the capacity of Program Manager and Acting Program Director. He was later engaged as the Team Leader for the Kaduna State team under Abt Associates’ DFID-funded Partnership for Transforming Health System II (PATHS2). Dr. Alawode obtained a Master’s in Tropical Medicine from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, after acquiring a degree in Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria

Dr. Elaine Baruwa

ElaineBaruwaWebElaine M. Baruwa PhD, MSc serves as the Country manager for HFG Nigeria, She has over 12 years of experience conducting program and economic evaluations, and working on pricing and costing policies/tools for the financing of health services and health systems in Nigeria, Haiti, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Swaziland and other low-income countries. Dr. Baruwa co-lectured on Cost Benefit and Cost Effectiveness courses at Johns Hopkins. Since joining Abt, she has led economic evaluations in over 20 countries through USAID’s Health Systems 20/20 and HFG projects as well as monitoring and evaluation work for the World Bank and the International AIDS Vaccine Institute. Dr. Baruwa is a senior technical advisor on insurance modeling and other health financing research. She also leads research on health systems strengthening for primary health care in Nigeria for the Gates Foundation. Dr. Baruwa holds a PhD in International Health from Johns Hopkins University, a MSc in Health Management from Imperial College University, and a BSc in Financial Economics from the University of London. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Mr. Eke Jonathan

Eke JonathanEke Jonathan works as the Deputy General Manager and also the Acting General Manager at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). He is actively involved in the development of the social health insurance programme for the formal sector in Nigeria which also involves developing and implementing the framework for regulating health insurance in the organized private sector in Nigeria.




Prof. Tanimola M. Akande

Tanimola akandeTanimola M. Akande is a Professor of Public Health with University of Ilorin and a Consultant Public Health Physician with University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH). He is a member West African College of Physicians (Public Health), Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College (FMCPH). His area of specialization is Health Management. He is the current Head, Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Ilorin / UITH. He is a Senior Researcher, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) since January 2008 and a former member World Health Organization African Region Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Measles and Rubella; Member, Board of Trustees Pharm Access Foundation Nigeria and also African Civil Society for the Care and Support of Tuberculosis Patients (ACT). He is a member of the Expert Review Committee on Poliomyelitis Eradication Initiative and Routine Immunization in Nigeria. He is a member of several professional organizations including the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) of which he is the current National Chairman. He has over 140 publications in reputable peer reviewed local and international journals.

Dr. Sylvester Akande

sylvester akandeDr. Sylvester Akande is a public health physician, Development practitioner and Health systems expert with over 10 years pragmatic experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of development programs. He is passionate about Health Policy and Financing, Health systems research and Governance reforms. Dr Akande currently works as the Senior Health Financing Advisor for the USAID Health Finance & Governance project in Nigeria.



Dr. Peju Adenusi

peju adenusiDr. Adenusi is a public health physician with over twenty five years experience in policy development and strategic planning, advocacy and program management. She is highly skilled with an in depth working knowledge of implementation of public health programs in both public and private sectors with remarkable collaboration with governmental, non-governmental and international development agencies. Dr. Adenusi is currently the Managing Director of Hygeia Community Health Care in Nigeria implementing health insurance program co-funded by the Dutch Government and the state government as well as the Executive Director of Hygeia Foundation a not for profit organization working in the area of HIV and AIDS funded by Global Fund. The health insurance program is targeted at low income population in the rural communities of Kwara state with the objective of providing affordable and accessible quality health care services. Dr. Adenusi holds an MBBS Degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, Master in Public Health from University of Lagos, Nigeria and another Master in Family Planning and Social Research from Mahidol University, Thailand. She is also a Fellow of the Bill and Melinda Gate Institute at the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA as well as of the Population Leadership Program (PLP), University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Dr. Ekpenyong Ekanem

Ekpenyong Ekanem headshotDr. Ekpenyong Ekanem MD, MPH is a public health physician and global health policy professional with 9 years of experience in public and private sectors of health service delivery and international health systems development. He has built substantial experience working with international donors, including USAID, DFID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the Packard foundation, working in international health systems development, quality improvement in resource-challenged settings, growth and strengthening of health systems’ service delivery models, and in the monitoring and evaluation of district/country-wide programs. At Abt, he has worked to design, implement and manage bilateral and global integrated health and system strengthening programs, as well as served as M&E Tech Advisor for several bilateral and global projects. Dr. Ekanem holds an MPH in Global Health Leadership and health policy from New York University (NYU), and an MD from the University of Ibadan Nigeria, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Mr. Christopher Atta Okoh

christopher okohChristopher Atta Okoh currently works as an Assistant General Manager with the NHIS. He has a degree in Human Medicine from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He also holds an International Masters Degree in Health Economics & Parmacoeconomics from the Barcelona School of Management, Spain.





Mr. Michael Akpabio

Akpabio Michael George is the BOT chairman for the Community Based Health Insurance scheme, Ukana Ikot Ideh, Akwa Ibom. He has a diploma from the school of telecommunication, Oshodi and NCE in Education from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.





Mr. Charles Ijeomah

Mr. Charles Ijeomah is currently the Head of Division Policy, Planning and Partnership Coordination in the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics. He handled the Desk for GAVI/Health Systems Strengthening and Community Development in the Department of Primary Health Care Systems Development all in National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Abuja. He had worked as Zonal Technical officer in the South East Zone between 1992 – 2000 covering Enugu and Imo States. He also covered the entire zone as the Officer-in-charge of the Bamako Initiative Programme while in the South East Zone.  He also had responsibility for setting up Ward Development Committees in many Wards and was trained in Drugs (selection, quantification and procurement) and Financial Management for the Bamako Initiative (BI) Programme. The issues of equity in health care coverage for the vulnerable group including Health care financing, mechanisms for financial access to health care among other issues were also covered by Mr. Charles Ijeomah in the last 26 years.

Dr. Olalekan Olubajo

Dr Olalekan Olubajo is the pioneer and current Head of Health Financing at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and has qualifications in nutrition and health economics. Previously he worked in the Nutrition Division of the Federal Ministry of Health and was actively involved in developing the micronutrient control programme and the first National Food and Nutrition Policy. As a health economist, he has worked on the Cost of Fully Immunized Child in Nigeria, conducted a Health Public Expenditure Review for Ondo state and was actively involved in the First Consultation on Financing for Primary Health Care. He is currently the National Project Coordinator for the Nigeria State Health Investment Project which is a results based financing project aimed at shifting focus from input based financing to output based financing in the health sector. He is currently working on the NPHCDA component of the National Health Act that deals with implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. Dr. Olubajo is interested in innovative health financing methods and analytical works like cost effectiveness and cost utility analysis, PERs and equity studies aimed at ensuring that vulnerable groups are covered in health financing policies and schemes.


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