Nexus of Science and Evidence-based Decision Making in strengthening the health system in Nigeria: Public lecture of Prof Obinna Onwujekwe at the Nigeria Academy of Science

On May 12, 2022 Prof Obinna Onwujekwe gave a public lecture at the induction of fellows into the Nigeria Academy of Science. The lecture was titled, “Nexus of Science and Evidence-based Decision Making Towards a Responsive and Strong Nigerian Health System”. Prof Obinna gave practical examples of getting research into policy and practice, stating that it is an ideal every scientist should aspire to, and it is the key driver of the Health Policy Research Group, University of Nigeria. Emphasis was laid on utilizing non-academic means to communicate research, such as blogs, policy briefs, podcasts, filming, etc., as they attain wider reach and appeal more to policymakers and the wider public than the technically written scientific publications. He went ahead to discuss stakeholders’ identification, engagement, relationship building, and the real-life value that is brought to research by the Outcome Mapping strategy. The public lecture was received well by fellows and other attendees, as they were challenged to ensure that they move quality studies away from the papers and shelves into policies and programmes that will benefit society.


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Prof Obinna making his delivery


Scientists from the Health Policy Research Group, University of Nigeria rank highly on the globe – AD Scientific Index 2021

In a recent ranking of scientists on the globe, scholars from the Health Policy Research Group took top spots. Professors Obinna Onwujekwe and Benjamin Uzochukwu who are both academics at the University of Nigeria and founders of the renowned Health Policy Research Group clinched 1st and 3rd positions respectively, as top scientists in the University of Nigeria with over 3000 academic staff. The ranking is done by AD Scientific Index.
Prof Obinna Onwujekwe
At country-level, Obinna Onwujekwe ranks 3rd, 171 in the African region, and 39940 on the globe. Whereas, Benjamin Uzochukwu popularly known as BSC ranks 8th in Nigeria, 271 in the African region, and 54284 on the globe. Obinna and Benjamin are each with over 300 research items on ResearchGate, and combined citations of almost 34,000 as calculated by Google Scholar.
Prof Benjamin Uzochukwu
Interestingly, AD Scientific Index has moved beyond citations’ counts to focusing on the actual impact of scientific outputs which can be sourced by designing algorithms around i10 index, h-index and citation scores. You can read more on AD Scientific Index here. It is, therefore, right to say that the duo are impactful scientists, putting the University of Nigeria and the African Scientific Community on the map of global excellence.
Overall, 10 scientists from the University of Nigeria are within the top-100 in the country, and 6 made it to Africa’s top-1000. Their names include Chinua Achebe, Peter Akah, Nnabuk Okon, Joe Mbagwu, James Ogbonna, Martin Eze, Fabian Ezema, and Anthony Attama. You can find more here.
Interacting with Professors Obinna and Benjamin, it is evident that they do not intend to retire from their craft anytime soon. They have extended their wealth of knowledge to younger academics and researchers across the globe, and are indeed worthy models and mentors in the academic community. The Health Policy Research Group which is their brainchild is a no-brainer when it comes to research excellence. It is today, powered by the proteges of the Professors, some of whom are now Professors. Indeed, hearty congratulations to Professors Obinna and Benjamin on this deserving feat.