Dr. Betta Edu is result-oriented health policy and management expert with over ten-years’ professional experience building and leading teams in visioning, developing, and implementing life-saving health policies and programmes at national and state levels. She has a medical degree from University of Calabar, Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health for Developing Countries from London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, Master of Science Public Health in Developing Countries from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, and Doctor of Public Health from Texila American University. She regularly updated her professional and leadership skills through numerous executive programmes from renown institutions including University of London UK, Harvard University, University of Washington, and University Virginia in the United States of America.
Dr. Edu is currently the National Women Leader of APC, was the Commissioner for Health of Cross River State where she has revolutionized the health care system through innovation, purposeful leadership, and integrity. Her energetic and quintessential leadership resulted in significant improvements in key health indices in Cross River state. Some of these include best child survival rate in Nigeria; 63% reduction in maternal mortality rate (MMR) in public health facilities in the last 5 years; 44% reduction in new-born death at health facilities in the last 5 years; decline in HIV prevalence from 6.6% (2015) to 1.8% (2020). The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health ranked Cross River State and the 2nd best performing state in 2020. These remarkable achievements were made possible by her strategic investment and re-organisation of the Cross River state health system founded on a robust primary health care system as the fulcrum of its universal health coverage (UHC) agenda.
Her unique leadership qualities saw her emerge the Chairman of the Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum since 2020 to date. In this capacity, she has reformed the organisation, giving it a legal status, and formally affiliated with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. She organized the first ever health summit by the Forum which facilitated strategic engagement of the health commissioners with development partners, private sector, academia and the civil society to bridge information gap that existed between them, review progress towards UHC, identify opportunities for improvement and foster strategic partnerships to serve Nigerians better through policy actions and optimization of investments.
Prior to her appointment as Commissioner for Health, she served as the Director General/CEO of CRSPHCDA where she established the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) in 2016, and successfully created at least one functional primary healthcare centre (PHC) in every ward in Cross River state (built 60 new PHCs and revitalised 200). In line with her UHC policy agenda, she established the Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme which has over 60,000 enrollees accessing quality healthcare, and fully protected from financial risk. She established partnerships with local and international development partners and mobilised over USD10 million into the state health system to support strategic investments in resilient systems for sustainable health (RSSH) and quality healthcare service coverage.
She revolutionised the primary healthcare system in the state through policies and programmes that promoted innovation, quality of care, and efficiency. Under her leadership, the Agency developed the first ever minimum PHC service package for the state and established a framework for Traditional Birth Attendant Regulation in Cross River State. She reorganised the PHC system to promote access, equity, quality of care and efficiency. These policy actions resulted in reduction in maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and improved child survival rate. Working with her team she initiated the Vaccine Push System in Cross River State which strengthened the immunisation programme improving access to vaccines by 30%. The result of these innovative policies and strategic investments, Cross River State was ranked by UNICEF as the state with the highest child survival rate in Nigeria. Her dynamic leadership qualities and sterling achievements earned her recognition among her peers who elected her the Vice Chairman of Forum of CEOs of Primary Health Care Agencies and Boards in Nigeria (March 2018 – May 2019).
Dr. Edu serves the state and the country in numerous capacities including:
Chairman, Nigeria Health Commissioner’s Forum (July 2020 – 2022)
Member, Presidential Health Reform Committee (September 2021- 2022)
Member, All Progressive Congress National Reconciliation Committee (September 2021- Date)
Member, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on Special Task Team on Covid-19 for Niger Delta and Maritime Sector Response (September 2020- 2022)
Member, National Council of Health
Chairman, Cross River State COVID-19 Response Taskforce (March 2020- 2022)
Chairman, Cross River State Oversight Committee on Basic Health Care Provision Fund
Member, Board of Governors of College of Medical sciences, University of Calabar (December 2019 – Date)
Member, National Health Insurance Scheme Drugs Supply and Implementation Board (August 2020 – Date)
Member, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent, Elderly Health +Nutrition National Taskforce Board
Member, National Oversight Steering Committee, Basic Health Care Provision Fund (January 2021-date)
Special Technical Adviser, Cross River state Privatization Council (2021 – date)
Member, Cross River State Debt Management and Project Implementation Commission (April 2019 – February 2020)
Member, Cross River State Debt Review and Project Management Commission (July 2019 – December 2019)
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT COMPETENCIES
Visioning and innovation
Leadership & Resource Development
Board Relations & Engagement
Public Policy & Administration
Strategic Planning & Partnerships
Chairman, Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum July 2020 – 2022
Coordinate the participation of Commissioners for Health in Nigeria in national policy dialogues and decisions.
Collaborate with office of the Minister of Health in Nigeria to set agenda for National Council on Health (NCH).
Collaborate with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on all Health issues proffering useful solutions and informing health policies and programmes.
Advocate regularly to the President, National Assembly, Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 and key stakeholders to influence the institutionalisation and implementation of key health policies in Nigeria.
Coordinate and support the activities of all the States Ministry of Health in the South-South geo-political zone in Nigeria as the South-South Coordinator in the Forum.
Administrative coordination of the Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum Secretariat.
Collaboration with Development partners and Donor agencies to improve health care delivery and promote universal health coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
Chairman – Cross River State COVID-19 Response Taskforce Mar. 2020– 2022
Coordinate the Cross River State COVID-19 Response.
Established and coordinates the Emergency Operations Centre for COVID-19 in the state.
Implementing the Incident Action Plan for Cross River state.
Introducing policies and innovations to enhance the state’s COVID-19 response aligned with global best practices and most recent scientific evidence.
Commissioner for Health – Cross River State Dec.2019– 2022
Member of State Executive Council leading the strategic vision, planning, and implementation of health and human development policies to fulfill the development agenda of the government of Cross River State.
Member of the National Council on Health (NCH) working with the Minister of Health and State Commissioners of Health to formulate, review and approve policies and programmes for the achievement of the Next Level agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Providing political, management and technical leadership to the state health sector.
Imbibe the culture of the application of system thinking performance measurement among the state health administrators and workforce.
Formulate, implement, monitor, and evaluate health policies and laws to support the state achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Mobilise, allocate and manage resources to promote equitable access to quality healthcare for all residents of the state
Establish and manage strategic partnerships with development partners, private sector, religious and traditional institutions to advance UHC in Cross River State.
Engage the state legislature to enact and revise laws relevant to the health policy agenda of the state government.
Coordinated the development of Cross River State Strategic Health Development Plan (2020-2025)
Coordinate the development of annual state health operational plan and budget and present same to the Cross River State House of Assembly for approval
Supervise all health parastatals and institutions in Cross River state, including their governance boards and management.
Set investment priorities for the Cross River State health system to facilitate optimization of resources for UHC.
Coordinate the state’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Director General May 2016 –May 2019
Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA)
Facilitated the creation of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency and the enactment of the Agency’s establishment Law.
Facilitated the creation of Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme and the enactment of the Agency’s establishment Act.
Produced the first ever Minimum Service Package for health care in the State.
Revitalized over 200 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in line with the PHC Revitalization policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Constructed 60 New PHCs to promote equitable access to primary care in unreached underserved communities.
Identified 400 ghost workers in the state’s PHCs pay roll and saved the state enormous resources in wages and salaries.
Increased domestic financing for primary healthcare in Cross River state
Mobilized over USD10 million from development partners.
Strengthened stewardship of the PHCs through the creation and activation of Ward Development Committees in line with national PHC policy
Achieved rapid coverage of child immunization through the introduction of ‘push system’ for vaccines supply in the state immunization program.
Introduced a Traditional Birth Attendant Regulation framework in Cross River State
Achieved highest ranking status for Cross River state in child survival rate in Nigeria.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Community Health Dec. 2015 – May 2016
Advised the Executive Governor of Cross River state on public health matters, with focus on improving the health of the communities.
Produced policy briefs on health systems strengthening and universal health coverage to support policy dialogue and decisions of the Governor.
Identified strategic development partners (local and international) and facilitated their engagement with the state government to support the state’s health policies and programmes implementation.
Provided technical assistance to the State Ministry of Health and parastatals in policy development, strategic planning and performance management.
Represented the Executive Governor at health meetings, conferences and events within and outside the state.
Vice Chairman, Forum of all CEOs of Primary Health Care Agencies and Boards in Nigeria Mar. 2018 – May 2019
Informed national policy decisions for Primary Health Care development in Nigeria.
collaborated with the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency to ensure full implementation of Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy in all the 36 states and FCT in Nigeria.
Monitored and ensured smooth implementation of Primary health care activities in Nigeria.
Advocated regularly to President, National Assembly and key stakeholders to influence institutionalisation and full implementation of key health policies, particularly the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
Advocated to Governors on state specific challenges to the health sector with emphases on Primary Health Care within their states.
PREVIOUS CAREER EXPERIENCE
Public Health Consultant Oct. 2014 – May 2015
Department of Community and Primary Health Care, Cross River State.
Hired to reorganize and strengthen health policies within the Primary Health Care Department. Conducted preliminary research and review of the state health policies and procedures in place alongside the Department heads, examining existing data management methods and systems.
Managed and strengthened monitoring and evaluation tools and procedures for the State.
Conducted research and a review of current policies and procedures.
Drafted and contributed to government policies including the State Health Policy and the Primary Health Policy.
Kept relevant authorities abreast of emerging health issues.
Liaised and advised the state on how to improve its immunization program.
Medical Officer of Health Jul. 2013 – Sept. 2013
State Ministry of Health, Cross River State.
Medical officer in charge of staff clinic.
Performed patient examinations, minor surgeries, and consultations.
Managed health administration including report writing and documentation.
Assessed and planned drug treatments.
Conducted seminars and promoted health education.
Medical Officer serving at the Government House Clinic Apr. 2012 – Feb. 2013
National Youth Service Corp, Calabar, Cross River State.
Performed clinical services, which included: conducting patient consultation and physical, examinations, monitored and administered medication, assessed and planned treatment requirements.
Team Lead, Personal Physician to First family attached to Wife of the Governor.
Chief Medical Director serving at the Cross River State Camp Clinic Mar. 2012- Apr. 2012 National Youth Service Corp, Calabar, Cross River State.
Undertook patient consultation and physical examinations.
Managed clinic administration, including staff and stock levels.
Organised workloads planning and duty roaster for the medical team.
Monitored and administered medication.
Assessed and planned treatment requirements.
Maintained records and writing reports.
Promoted health education.
Advised state Camp Coordinator and management on all matters pertaining to Health.
House Officer Apr. 2011-Mar. 2012
University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State.
Under supervision of medical consultants.
Overall quality inputs into service delivery, including out-patient clinic services.
Routinely sought personal professional development in clinical skills and updates to deliver high quality services.
Conducted minor surgeries and assisted in major surgeries.
Locum Medical Officer Jan. Apr. 2011
University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State
Provided locum cover in any emergency centres and departments as required.
Ensured timely recognition of potential medical complications and referral.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Health
Texila American University.
Master of Science (MSc) Public Health in Developing Countries (2014)
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. London, United Kingdom.
Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Public Health for Developing Countries (2014)
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. London, United Kingdom.
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, (MBBCh) (2010)
University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CERTIFICATE PROGRAMMES
Spring Language International Centre, University of Arkansas – study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders
United States Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs
Building Resilience, developing sustainable Health Care Systems and advancing Universal Health Coverage in Developing Countries
Harvard Medical School in collaboration with World Health Organisation
The National Health Service Expanded (NHS)
Kings Fund, London. United Kingdom
Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management
Daren school of Business, University of Virginia, United States of America
Health in Humanitarian Crises
University of London, United Kingdom
Making Decentralization work: tool for health policy makers and managers
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States of America
Advanced course on Health Financing for universal health coverage for low- and middle-income countries
World Health Organization
Health Financing Policy for Universal Health Coverage
World Health Organization
Leadership and Management in Health. (Certificate)
University of Washington, United States of America
Leadership Strategies for Evolving Health Care Executives, Executive and Continuing Professional Education
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States of America
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Commissioner of the Year 2020. UN-SDG
Hero of Covid-19, National Youth Council of Nigeria (2020)
Quintessential Nigeria Woman Award: Excellent Women International (2020)
Yala Achievers’ Award (2019)
Pan Africa Award for Humanitarian services (2018)
Award of 50 Future Leaders in Nigeria, (2017)
Fellowship Award for Distinguished professional contributions to Public Service, Council of Institute of Corporate Administration, (2016)
Class 2010 All-Rounder Award, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
Completion Award for the study of Civil Rights and the American South, Spring Language International Centre 2009, United States Institute for Student Leaders, University of Arkansas
Ambassador of Good Will of the State of Arkansas (2009)—Arkansas Traveler Award for visitors who have contributed to community development, progress and well-being of the state of Arkansas.
Award of the Most Dedicated student Unionist of the year—Students’ Union Government (SUG) 2007/2008, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.
Other awards too numerous to list (Over 500 in the last 4 years)
LEADERSHIP POSITIONS HELD
Commissioner for Health, Cross River State Ministry of Health (dec. 2019 – Date)
National Chairman, Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum. (July 2020 – date)
Secretary, Cross River State Commissioners Forum. (Sept. 2020 – date)
Chairman; Cross River State COVID-19 Response Taskforce. (March 2020- Date)
National Vice Chairman, Nigeria Health Commissioner’s Forum and south-south Chairman/Coordinator (Jan. 2020 – July 2020)
Member; Debt Review and Project Management Commission CRS (July 2019 – November 2019)
National Vice President, Forum of all CEO of Primary Health Care Development Boards and Agencies in Nigeria. (March 2018 – May 2019)
National treasurer, Forum of all CEOs of Primary health care Development agencies and boards in Nigeria (March 2016 – March 2018)
Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (Dec 2015- May 2019).
Special Advisor to the Governor of Cross River State on Community and Primary Healthcare, 2015 – May 2019
Secretary of Medical Committee of Presidential and Governorship campaign 2015 & 2019.
Vice President Association of House Officers, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. 2011-2012.
Editor in Chief of the Syringe Magazine; official magazine of the Calabar University Medical Student Association (CUMSA) 2009-2010.
Student’s Representative Critical Mass Committee, University of Calabar HIV/AIDS program. 2006-2008.
Vice President of Action Group on Adolescent Health (AGAH), University of Calabar chapter. 2005-2009.
President and coordinator of Female Leadership Forum; University of Calabar chapter. 2007-2008.
Vice President Students’ Union Government, University of Calabar. 2007-2008.
Committee chairman- House Committee on HIV/AIDS, Students’ Union Parliament, University of Calabar. 2006-2007.
Treasurer, Cross River State Medical Students association, Cross River State. (2005)
Youth President, Jesus Action Ministry International (2001-2008)
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND VOLUNTEERING EXPERINCES
Scholarship; Pays Fees for all pupils in Adadama Ward of Abi Local Government Area, (2016-date)
Free health outreaches to over 50 remote communities working with a group of volunteer Doctors and other health workers yearly who volunteer for free in rural areas in Cross River State. (2013-2019)
Free Health Outreach for people displaced by conflict areas like; Itigidi, Ugep, yala, obanliku and Ekori. January 2013 – date.
Free Health Outreach for rural dwellers across four underserved creeks in Cross River State. June August 2012.
Dr Chimaobim Betta Edu Free Three-Day Health Outreach at Adadama village, Cross River State. December 2011,2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 &2019.
Volunteer at the 12th Annual Global Classroom International High School Model UN Conference program (GCIMUN), UN Headquarters and Grand Hyatt, New York, USA. May 2011.
Volunteer at Global HIV/AIDS initiative Nigeria (GHAIN), General hospital Calabar. November 2010- March 2011.
Art Lifestyle workshop for developmentally disabled adult—Lifestyle for Living, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. Summer 2009.
Too many philanthropic gestures to mention
International Exchange/United State of America Student Alumni
Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), Nigeria
Nigerian Medical Association
Medical Women Association of Nigeria
Cross River State Medical Women Association
University of Calabar Alumni Association
Female Leadership Forum
Youth Educational Project Network
Action Group on Adolescent Health (AGAH)
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Alumni
John Snow Society of Epidemiologist