Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili, always in the hearts of many who love uprightness. She was a Pharmacist, Pharmacologist, Erudite Scholar and Seasoned Administrator who was born on 14 July 1954 in Makurdi, Benue State and was very active when she served as Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria and Nigerian Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010. Here at mybiohub, we are going to explore some important facts about her, She took the position of NAFDAC Director General in 2001 when Olusegun Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria and did a lot of work in the eradication of counterfeit drugs and unsafe food which was sold in every corner of Nigeria without any government agency checking on it.
Dora was devastated when she saw that so many of (her) countrymen and women (were) fighting killer diseases like malaria and tuberculosis with little more than sugar syrup and chalk tablets, cynically packaged to look like the real thing, though her safety wasn’t guaranteed, because there were many that tried to bring her down those days.
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St. Patrick’s Primary School, Isuofia, Anambra State – First School Leaving Certificate with Distinction (1966)
Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka – West African School Certificate (WASC) with Grade I Distinction (1973)
After her amazing grades, this earned her Eastern Nigerian Government Post Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship
University of Nigeria Nsukka – Pharmacy B.Pharm (Hons) in 1978 and her PhD in 1985
Hospital Pharmacist from 1978 to 1981, in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.
Graduate Assistant (Research Fellow) in Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNN from 1982 to 1986.
Consultant Pharmacologist in 1996 at UNN
Part-time lecturer of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists Lagos, Nigeria from 1992–1995.
Supervisor for Agriculture and Member of the Caretaker Committee for her Local Government, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State from 1994 to 1996.
Chief Examiner in Pharmacology for 3rd M.B.B.S College of Medicine, Abia State University Uturu, Nigeria.
She was married to Dr J. C. Akunyili, of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, a marriage which produced 6 children. She died on 7 June 2014 after a battle with cancer in an Indian hospital.
Time Magazine Award 2006 (“One of the eighteen heroes of our time”), Time Magazine Inc.
Person of the Year 2005 Award – Silverbird Communications Ltd, Lagos, 5 January 2006
Award of Excellence – Integrated World Services (IWS), Decemb2005
Award of Excellence – Advocacy for Democracy Dividends International, Lagos, 17 December 2005
Meritorious Award 2005 – St. Michael’s Military Catholic Church, Apapa, Lagos, 4 December 2005
African Virtuous and Entrepreneurial Women Merit Award 2005 – African Biographical Network, Dec. 2005
Award for the Best Government Parastatal – National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), December 2005
An Icon of Excellence Award – The African Cultural Institute and Zenith Bank Plc, 8 December 2005
2005 Grassroots Human Rights Campaigner Award London-based Human Rights Defense Organization, 8 December 2005
Most Innovative Director Award Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos, October 2005.
Integrity Award 2003 – Transparency International.