As we reflect and muse on the year 2021 for NCEHR, it comes with some beautiful and amazing outcomes, despite the ecosocial variabilities of COVID-19 variants amid low vaccine uptake in the global South, particularly Africa with some sectional climate changes. Reflecting on some successes of 2021 for NCEHR: submitting an IDRC grant submission, allying as Nigeria Canada Research Partnership (NRCP), releasing recurring quarterly newsletter, having a functioning physical administrative office, building, and strengthening of members’ capacity and submitting group proposal – yet we still grapple to formally register our name with the national registration body in Nigeria. We were witnesses to the development of the vaccines, (in)effective lockdowns globally, vaccine hesitancy across countries, horrifying news and effects of flooding and hurricanes from the North Americas.
In the early phase of this year, NCEHR in collaboration with NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) and CCGHR (Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research) applied for a One-Health related grant with International Development Research Centre (IDRC). We passed the first stage of selection but did not meet up in the final selection.
In addition to this first quarter, NCEHR, collaborating with her sister organization, the Nigeria Working Group (NWG) in Canada, officially, became a part of CAGH under their institutional partnership as the Nigeria Canada Research Partnership. We appreciate the efforts of our lead coordinator, Dr Ngozi Joe-Ikechebelu, academic advisor, Prof Vic Neufeld, and other researchers (community and academic) for bringing this collaboration to a positive conclusion. We are hopeful on the equitable outcomes that this allyship will bring.
With acclaims to the editors of NCEHR newsletter, we are thankful for the timely release of the quarterly newsletters. Now, we have four editions of newsletter for NCEHR. See www.ncehr.org for the four editions.
After series of trials, NCEHR has a functional physical office situated on the first floor of the Surgical Building, in Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku-Awka. We also have an administrative assistant, Mrs. Onyinye Okolo, volunteering her time even as her capacity is built and strengthened for this position. She is trained in various roles to fit her positions, even though funding incapacitates an effective payment for her. Currently, the NCEHR project officer, Dr Angela Akanwa and her team are working on the module topic: Impact of climate change on health in Nigeria. NCEHR also appreciates our webmaster, Onyedika G. Edewor who has continued to keep the webpage active and functional.
In lieu of NCEHR capacity building and strengthening, most of our members are strengthening their skills and knowledge level despite the challenging times Nigeria finds itself in. Apart from members embarking on graduate programs, our capacity is built in areas, such as project management, effective virtual communication, and participatory visual methodologies to leverage and strengthen the quality of our meso-level work. Now, our ongoing research work on vaccine hesitancy is still on. We are hopeful that before the second phase of next year, the findings will be out at our organization
Finally, in the last phase of 2021, NCEHR/NWG (NCRP) co-presented at the just concluded CAGH conference virtually. Furthermore, the NCRP submitted a proposal, with a positive outcome, to the Horizons of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, to present on climate issues in Nigeria in 2022.
By 2022, it will be four years since the operations of NCEHR started. As we move, despite challenging falls, our growth humbles us, and we excitedly continue to keep on. We look forward to the formal registration of our local group. Heading into 2022, it is obvious that it will be an exciting and equitable work year. NCEHR will love to hear from you telling us about your ideas.
From the NCEHR Office.
31st December 2021