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With experience, skill and capacity, Adeyemo steps in to take LUTH to greater heights

By Tajudeen Kareem
10 June 2023   |   3:09 am
Talk of a square peg in a square hole, the appointment of Professor Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo as the new Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) represents one of those rare occasions when tradition equals progress.

Prof Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo

Talk of a square peg in a square hole, the appointment of Professor Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo as the new Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) represents one of those rare occasions when tradition equals progress.

Adeyemo is not only a longstanding staff, steeped in the legacy of excellence, he is also a trustworthy member of an elite group that has assiduously worked to transform service delivery, training and research at the hospital in recent years.

His ascendancy to the helm of affairs at one of Nigeria’s largest and most impactful teaching health institutions is commendable and will surely cement the steady, unparalleled trajectory witnessed in LUTH these past few years. The enthusiasm among students, staff, care seekers and the host community are already palpable as there have been lots of expectations on who would fill the large shoes recently left by his predecessor, Professor Chris Bode.

In the past four years, Adeyemo, a Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, has served as the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) at the hospital, responsible for clinical services and training. Prior to becoming the CMAC, he was Deputy CMAC, Research and Training for four years (2014-2018) and Chairman of the Security Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital and College of Medicine, University of Lagos, between 2008 and 2014.

A trail-blazing researcher and administrator, Adeyemo was the first to occupy the then newly created position of Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, (2010-2012).

An indigene of Ibadan North-East Local Council of Oyo State, where he had his early education, Adeyemo holds a PhD in Molecular Biology of Jaw Augmentation of the University of Cologne, Germany. He is a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College in Dental Surgery (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery), Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons, Fellow of the International College of Surgeons, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Medicine Specialties and Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Medicine. Last week, he was inducted as a Fellow of the prestigious Nigeria Academy of Science.

He was awarded the 2018 Gold Medal Prize in Life Science by the Nigerian Academy of Science for his significant scientific achievement in applying molecular genetics to the understanding of the basis of environmental etiology of cleft lip palate and craniofacial defects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Beyond his impressive achievement in the field of medicine, Adeyemo has also prepared himself well for the tasks ahead. He undertook various trainings to improve his leadership and management skills. He attended a one-year Executive Certificate Course in Surgical Leadership at the Harvard School of Medicine (Harvard, USA, 2018-2019), a programme designed for surgeons desiring non-technical, executive skills required for leaders who must excel as heads of departments, divisions, projects, and institutions.

He also attended the Policy Strategy and Leadership Course 40 (PSLC 40) of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in 2021 and holds a Master of Public Administration of the University of Lagos.

Adeyemo has been on the management board of Lagos University Teaching Hospital from 2019 till date; member of the Court of Governors of the College of Medicine University of Lagos from 2021 till date and a member of the Senate of the University of Lagos.

Between 2020-2022, he coordinated over 200 clinical and administrative COVID-19 workers in LUTH as part of the Federal Government’s effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 and reduce the morbidity and mortality rate of the pandemic, working in partnership with Lagos State government and several other international agencies.

Adeyemo, as DCMAC/CMAC, was part of the management team that brought an infrastructural renaissance to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. During the tenure of his predecessor, Bode, ground-breaking achievements were recorded. A few are gas-powered uninterrupted power supply, NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre, Alima Atta Oncology Wards, Lion Olusola Dada Dialysis Centre & Renal Institute, New 30-bed Intensive Care Unit, renovation of the LUTH wards, replacement of 6-km LUTH /CMUL sewage network, ongoing new Out Patient Blocks and the installation of the Hospital Information Management System.

On his own right, Adeyemo also conceptualised and implemented innovations such as the Bed Management Team, Dental Consumable Shop, and institution of research ethics training for junior and senior resident doctors.

Adeyemo and his team have won many research grants worth more than $8m at the University of Lagos. These include the CRC UNILAG grants, Lagos State Research Development Council grant, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Institutional Based Research grant, European Union training grant, National Institute of Health grants and Central Bank of Nigeria grant.

He and his team have also attracted treatment and training grants worth more than $1m to Lagos University Teaching Hospital since 2007.
With over 220 academic papers under his belt, Adeyemo is an acclaimed academician. Webometrics adjudged him the most cited researcher in the University of Lagos and 13th in Nigeria in 2015. His research works have been cited 6091 times (google scholar) since 2006 till date. He and his research team also have a patent.

Adeyemo, 54 years old, is happily married with three children
In the words of his predecessor, Bode, a lot is expected of the new CMD. As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at LUTH, he must pay adequate attention to the welfare of staff, motivating them and ensuring optimum productivity, while also providing a conducive environment with adequate working tools.

“This is a role that Adeyemo is well positioned to play. He is also expected to continue the quest for innovative financing to enable the institution leverage on non-governmental funding for myriads of projects that can place it on a truly international footing. The digitisation project must not falter if the drive for better Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and reward for good work are to be achieved.

“He has the respect and support of a wide swath of his constituency as well as our pillars of support in government, the private sector and the community at large. He will need every hand on board and I have implicit faith in his ability to deliver on his mandates.

“He is a committed, fair-minded, God-fearing achiever; dogged and passionate in pursuit of excellence. We are happy he has been chosen to head LUTH and we pray for his success,” Bode stated.

Also commenting, the Deputy CMAC, Dr Yewande Oshodi, who has worked closely with him, said: “Adeyemo has proven to be an astute administrator; one who has consistently demonstrated in-depth knowledge of hospital management within the Nigerian public health sector during his years as top hospital management staff at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

“He has remained focused on all targets, been very principled and thorough in all his engagements as an administrator, while yet always ensuring fairness and humane approach towards both patients and staff.

“As the new CMD of LUTH, I expect to see continuity in the unveiling of a new LUTH, marked by further growth in infrastructure, an improved flow in our health service delivery processes and a strengthening of our human resource capacity development.”

Speaking after his announcement as the new CMD, Adeyemo said: “I have been a member of the LUTH administration in the past eight years and, just like I used to say, that we are going to continue along the same trajectory that has actually made LUTH.

“ Also, I would like to thank the Federal Government in the last eight years for the amount of money that has been poured into teaching hospitals. And I believe that this new government too will continue and I have no doubt that they’re going to continue along that trajectory.

“I promise that myself and all members of the Top Management Committee (TMC) at LUTH will do our best to protect the name of the Federal Ministry of Health, to protect the name of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and serve to the best of our ability all Nigerians irrespective of age, religion or ethnicity, and by the special grace of God, we are going to succeed.”

LUTH couldn’t have had it better in choosing a successor to soldier on after Bode’s impressive feats!
• Kareem is a public policy consultant in Abuja.