By Danmaryam Zayamu
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Nasir Sanni Gwarzo, has received the –World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director Award, for his exemplary contribution to improving immunization in the African region.
Prior to his appointment as a permanent secretary few weeks ago, Dr. Gwarzo was a Director in the office of the Minister of Health.
Presenting the award earlier, the WHO Officer – In – charge (OIC), Dr. Clement Peter, said that much was not known about community health, before Dr. Gwarzo joined the WHO.
According to the OIC, it is the recipient’s ingenuity that brought about the involvement of faith based organisations, community leaders, women leaders and opinion moulders in immunization campaigns which he said, is the basis of vaccines acceptability, particularly at conflict zones, in Africa.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that he was not surprise at the recipient’s achievement, considering his diligence, dedication, sincerity and devotion to his duties while as a Director in the Minister’s office.
Describing Dr. Gwarzo as one of the best officers from the Federal Ministry of Health, the Minister congratulated him for the award and urged him not to rest on his oars in giving his best wherever duty calls, for the benefit of Nigeria and humanity at large.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, on his part, appreciated the WHO for recognising the recipient for his service while with the organisation.
Also describing Dr. Gwarzo as calm, cool headed, good-hearted and one of the brightest and best officers, Dr. Mamora said that the award was not only to encourage him but to prove to others that ‘’if you do well, you stand a chance of being recognised’’
Dr Nasir Gwarzo is a Public Health Physician with in-depth knowledge and skills in diverse areas of public health, particularly in areas of policy, strategy, leadership, management, partnership, as well as health and risk communication.
As a medical officer in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Gwarzo served as Chief Epidemiologists of Nigeria, Director, Port Health Services, Coordinator of National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme and Coordinator National AIDS/STDs Control Programme, among other notable positions.At the international front, Dr. Gwarzo served as the Medical Epidemiologists of the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and as a focal point person for Polio transition and Vaccination in Humanitarian Emergencies in WHO headquarters in Geneva, in 2017.