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‘NHEA 2021 award to celebrate health workers, stakeholders combating COVID-19’

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Wale Alabi

Dr. Wale Alabi is the Project Director, Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA). In this interview with ADELOWO ADEBUMITI, he spoke about the healthcare award ceremony holding today and how it is stimulating improvement, competition and innovation in the sector.

NHEA is now the Oscar award of the Nigerian health industry, how did it come into existence?
It started eight years ago when we realised that there was no form of recognition or appreciation of our healthcare workers or caregivers when compared to other sectors and climes. To change that, we decided to come up with the award. Since then, it has grown to be the most prestigious and well appreciated platform in Nigeria’s healthcare ecosystem for appreciation and recognition.

What is the criteria for selection of awardees?
There are different criteria for each award category. This criteria are based on industry best practice and an audit process put in place to verify claims.

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What is the focus of the NHEA award?
The focus is on outstanding performances, the creation of new business models in the healthcare industry and recognising and embracing new trends. It’s also focused on market leadership and inspirational performance.

Is there plans to expand the award categories?
Yes, we plan to expand the award categories overtime to accommodate new business models such that all healthcare providers within the industry are recognised and celebrated.

Given the challenges affecting the sector, what is the award trying to achieve?
NHEA aims to stimulate quality improvement and innovation in the health sector leading to improved service delivery and management of key health issues and the capacity of individuals to influence and set new performance standards in Nigeria and beyond.

How are the organisers trying to engender improvement in the health sector and raise standard?
By stimulating healthy competition amongst healthcare providers in maintaining qualitative service delivery based on the award criteria for each category and in line with international best practices.

COVID-19 has been everywhere, even in Nigeria for more than a year now. Is NHEA going to recognise contribution of health workers and institutions in combating the pandemic at the award event?
Yes, NHEA will recognise various healthcare stakeholders for their immense contributions in curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We have five COVID specific categories for that purpose. Moreover, the theme for this year, ‘Celebrating the Healthcare Heroes’ was inspired by the support and selfless services of stakeholders in various sectors of the economy.

What are participants and stakeholders to expect from this year’s award ceremony?
This year’s event is a major turnaround for NHEA. The event will be bigger, better and more professionally organised. We plan to create a worldclass experience for the participants. The event will be streamed life on Facebook, YouTube and on our website.

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