RARE  RISINGSTARS - The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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No. 2


Chiedozie Nwafor

MSc Biomedicine
Lancaster University
Academics and Community Service

Chiedozie Nwafor

Chiedozie grew up in Nigeria with his mother, father and two siblings. His father was a journalist and his mother worked in educational policy. Chiedozie was mainly educated in Nigeria, going through primary, secondary and university education there. His early career started in medical diagnostics, specifically dealing with diagnosis of malaria and other infectious diseases. In December 2016, he received an offer from the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) and worked with the organisation as a Programme Officer. The aim of SCAF is to reduce the prevalence of sickle cell disease in Nigeria. During his time as Programme Officer, he developed, monitored and reviewed the organisation’s eight projects which reached over 10,000 people across 7 states in Nigeria. He led the organisation’s week-long programme to mark the 2017 World Sickle Cell Day by launching Sickle Cell Clubs and Handbook in 57 secondary schools in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, with support from the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo.

Every year, 150,000 children are diagnosed with Sickle Cell disease in Nigeria. Less than 10% live past the tender age of five. Chiedozie has dedicated his academic and professional career to innovating ideas to reduce disease and health-related mortality. The breadth of work that Chiedozie has completed is revolutionising the medical industry with his passion for biomedical research. Chiedozie is a major contributor to the implementation of effective policies and practices within future medicine. He also held active consultations with the federal legislators in Nigeria to modify the Sickle Cell Bill which has now passed the second reading in the Nigerian senate.

In mid-2017, Chiedozie worked as part of a team of three Nigerian youths to develop the Haima Health Initiative. The initiative is a web and mobile platform aimed at digitising the system of blood donation and supply in Nigeria using GPS technology. This has been pivotal since there was not a centralised system of blood supply in Nigeria. Most hospitals were unable to operate a standard blood bank. Haima Health recruit voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors through public blood donation drives, community sensitisation programmes and online campaigns. So far, they have built a database of over 1,500 blood donors, and have responded to over 500 emergency requests, linking patients to matching blood donors in real-time. They have supplied over 750 pints of blood to patients. The Haima Health Initiative was listed as one of the Top 10 ‘Ideas for Action’ by the World Bank in 2017. It was also nominated for the 2017 Comic Relief Tech4SocialGood Awards in the UK.

Earlier in his career while working with an indigenous health systems consulting firm in Nigeria, Chiedozie used his technical skills in deploying health systems strengthening models in implementing the organisation’s US Government ‘President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funded HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Programme in Nigeria. Chiedozie oversaw the programme implementation in 12 community health facilities with over 500 HIV positive patients. He delivered expertise in anti-retroviral therapy, patient follow-up, capacity building, technical programme design, data mining, monitoring, analysis and transmission. He played an active role in ensuring comprehensive home and community treatment services in Nigeria’s quest to meet the global 90:90:90 target to help end the AIDS epidemic.

Chiedozie’s passion for leadership and public health is clearly reflected in his achievements. His postgraduate studies at Lancaster University are funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office under the Chevening Scholarship Programme. The Chevening scholarship recognises and rewards exceptional emerging global leaders to undertake a fully funded full-time Masters course in the UK.

“Change needs to happen through individual citizens, not just through the government or politicians.”

Chiedozie is a member of the World Economic Forums’ Global Shapers Community, a youth initiative of the World Economic Forum. It is made up of youths under the age of 30 in about 450 hubs in over 150 countries, each exceptional in their commitment and drive to improve the state of their world. He is the Community Health Systems Manager with the Abuja Hub; where he leads the development and implementation of strategic interventions aimed at shaping the future of health. Since September 2016, he has led the hub to implement community health projects that have provided healthcare access to over 3000 people. This included the revamping of a previously moribund primary healthcare centre in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria.

Chiedozie led the #OpenGovtNG campaign in Nigeria aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in public service by getting over 3250 citizens to sign an online petition. He was also the Pioneer Coordinator of the Young African Leaders Initiative Abuja Network where he initiated the Women Economic Empowerment Programme to help women improve their business turnovers and help them take care of their families. He went on to be one of the Nigerian youths at the forefront of the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign, advocating for a constitutional review of the age specification in running for elective government positions to allow for more youth inclusion. The bill was historically signed into law by the Nigerian President on 31st May, 2018 and is now an act of law, after going through series of legislative debates at the Nigerian Senate, House of Representatives the 36 States Houses of Assembly.

Chiedozie’s work in the medical field and social transformation has been well and truly ground-breaking and he doesn’t show any signs of stopping in the near future. He was selected by the US Government to be a recipient of the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship, which recognises outstanding young leaders from sub-saharan Africa. He undertook a 6-week leadership programme at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, funded by the US Department of State.

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