• Thursday, June 13, 2024
businessday logo


Evidence based model in public health care to tackle health issues in Africa – Babajide Sadiq


Babajide Sadiq, is the founder, Genii Associates, a public health care model out to transform the public health care system in Africa. He received his Bachelors Degree in Human Anatomy in Nigeria, master’s degree in public health from the Florida State University and doctorate degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from the Florida A&M University.

What healthcare experiences do you have prior to coming to Nigeria

I have had so many experiences in various areas of public health, which includes environmental health, chronic and infectious diseases and global health. I have served in two states in the United States. I love my country Nigeria and this country made me. I know it is the right time for me to come and give back to this country. When I graduated, I realized there are so much public health issues in Nigeria. Seeing some of the things I do and some of the structures I have in place, I feel I should be able to replicate those things in developing countries, starting with Nigeria where I was born.

How well were you able to interact with Nigerians in the US who needed your help

Genii Associates is a new innovation in global health consulting and what we see is a huge gap we needed to address in Africa. Apart from the monetary aspect of providing public health for people in developing countries, we do not have a structure in place. Most of the things we do in public health in developing countries are done haphazardly. We wait for an outbreak before we do something. Four of us sat down to see how we can give back to these developing countries. Most developing countries have similar issues when it comes to public health.

What model are you coming up with to ensure this initiative works in Africa

We are coming up with an evidence based model in public health. This is what is used in developing countries. This has to do with documentation, so as to make it applicable and right. We are carving a model from people that have used it and it has worked. The difference is that we are developing our model; we are carving it and incorporating different things that are peculiar to developing countries. This has to do with our needs, models, resources and our culture.

Do you see this model working in Nigeria

The model will work in Nigeria because we will be addressing the cultural issues. We are incorporating the evidence based model into developing countries so as to fit into the countries. Developing a structure for developed countries will not be the same with that of developing countries; this is because we want them to be sustainable. We will tap into the resources. We have made the plan and we will allow the federal government, state and local government implement the plan. We want to work with the people in power to make this happen.

Right now who are the people you are in talks with

Right now we are talking with a developing country, Bangladesh. We are also speaking with top authorities in Nigeria.

What diseases do you hope to tackle with this model

We will be tackling diseases that are peculiar to Nigeria. We want to stop epidemic. Most of the public health issues in Nigeria are malaria, cholera, amongst others. If there is a problem and we have a system to control the problem, then it will be easy to tackle the problem. Looking at the Ebola case in Nigeria, 1.6billion dollars was spent but with these structures in place for a country like Nigeria that is still struggling, a lot of finances will have been saved. We need to look at the life expectancy and the quality of life span. Someone who is supposed to contribute to the GDP of the country can have a good life span with proper structures in place.

What is peculiar about this model

We spend so much money on malaria but we do not have the data that addresses equity. If we have a data that addresses equity, then we can make health care better. This is what the model does.

What system are you looking at

We are looking at the disease surveillance system, data collection system and health care management system. If the model is in place, then we will have a good data collection system. This way, we can monitor the progress of disease control and how to manage it.

How do you intend to start off

We want to start with a local government in Nigeria for now. We are going to show them how to do it. It is easier to bring in something new and when it works, it can be spread across other places. The good thing about this model is that we can help people get grants. We will be in partnership with Bill Gates Foundation to give grants to people. There are also other non-governmental organisations we can talk to.

Ifeoma Okeke