Government of Nigeria

Prof Isaac Adewole
Federal Minister of Health
Started term: Nov 2010

Professor Isaac Adewole, has been a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria since 1997. He is the Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health. He was the 11th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and the immediate past President of African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC).

He was born in Ilesa on 05 May, 1954. The young Adewole attended Ogudu Methodist Primary School, Ilesa (1960-61), Methodist School 1,Oke Ado, Ibadan 1962-63) and St Mathias Demostration School Akure (1964-65). He thereafter proceeded to Ilesa Grammar School from 1966 - 1972 where he obtained Grade I with Distinction in 1970 and the Higher School Certificate in 1972 in the same school where he made AAC in the three Science subjects he offered.

He enrolled as a National Award Scholar at the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1973 and obtained his MB BS degree from the University of Ibadan in 1978 with the Glaxo Allenbury prize for the best performance in Paediatrics. He joined the services of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology as a Senior House Officer in 1981 and underwent further medical training to become a Senior Registrar in the Department in 1984. He then travelled to the UK for a Research Fellowship in the Department of Medical Oncology at Charring Cross Hospital in London. Professor Adewole was appointed Lecturer I at the College of Medicine in the University of Ibadan in 1989. He was promoted Senior Lecturer in 1992 and Professor in 1997. He was Acting Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University from 1999-2000 and Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences and Dentistry (2000 - 2002), before becoming Provost of the College of Medicine from 2002 to 2006. A fellow of the Academy of Science of Nigeria (FAS) since 2011, he was awarded a honorary doctorate of science from the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom in July 2015, for his outstanding academic achievement and worthy contribution to preventive medicine and cancer screening in Nigeria.

Professor Adewole had also served the University of Ibadan in many other administrative capacities. He was a member MacArthur Grant Implementation Committee; member of Senate; Chairman, University Campus Committee on AIDS; member, Committee on the Review of guidelines for Promotion of Academic Staff; Chair, Committee on Assessment of Academic Staff by Students, Project Director, UNFPA Assisted Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention as well as a member of the Organizing Committee and Chairman of the Medical sub-Committee of NUGA in 2002.

A progressive unionist, Prof. Adewole was Secretary General and President, Association of Resident Doctors, UCH Branch as well as Secretary-General and National President of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) from1982-84. He was also Deputy Secretary General (1988-1990, and Secretary General, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) from 1990-1992; Secretary General, Confederation of African Medical Associations and Societies (CAMAS) from 1997-2003, and Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Oyo State.

Professor Adewole was the Principal Investigator of the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and Co-Principal Investigator of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative in Nigeria (MEPIN). He was a former Chairman of the National Task Team on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Nigeria. He was also the country’s Principal Investigator for ‘Operation Stop Cervical Cancer’ in Nigeria. Professor Adewole holds memberships of many learned societies, including the Nigerian Medical Association, the Society of Gynaecology & Obstetrics of Nigeria, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), International Gynaecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and the International AIDS Society (IAS). The Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), conferred on him the 2013 Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Research. This was in recognition of his contribution in research to improvement in the health of Nigerian women

A leading advocate for nationwide access to cervical cancer prevention and control, Professor Adewole’s current research interests include evaluating novel ideas for promoting prevention of cervical cancer in developing countries, HPV variability in cervical cancer among African women and evaluating interaction between HIV and Cervical Cancer. He has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and books on Gynaecological oncology, Abortion, HIV/AIDS and Perinatal medicine. He was the Guttmacher Institute’s 2008 Bixby Leadership Fellow in Reproductive health and the current chair of the sub-Saharan African Cervical Cancer Working Group (CCWG). He served on the Governing Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), London, UK (2013-2015) and he was on the Ethics Board of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon France. He is an adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

As a Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adewole was driven by an evangelical passion to sustain the prime position of Nigeria’s premier University and transform it into one of Africa’s top 10 Universities.

Shortly before he completed his tenure as the Vice Chancellor, he was appointed Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria on November 11 2015. The Federal Ministry of Health under his watch has developed one of the most ambitious health programme in Africa to achieve UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE using Primary Health Care as the fulcrum. The programme aims to provide 10,000 functional Primary Health Care facilities in Nigeria covering every political wards and this will provide access to basic essential health care to about 100 million Nigerians.

A widely travelled man, Prof Adewole is a Patron of the Boys Brigade, He is married with children and grandchildren.

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