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MNCH2 Team Leader awarded for promoting health of women and children in Nigeria

Dr. Salma Anas-Kolo, Team Leader of the Palladium managed MNCH2 program in Nigeria received the National Excellence Award from the Nigerian National Council of Women's Societies.

Dr. Salma receives the National Excellence award

The award recognises Dr. Salma’s tireless work to promote the health of women and children in Nigeria, both in her most recent role as Team Leader of the Maternal Newborn and Child Health programme and for her prior years of service.

According to the Nigerian National Council of Women’s Societies, “The National Excellence award is to acknowledge Dr. Salma’s commitment and incredible efforts at redefining paths for a better Nigeria and also her outstanding humanitarian and leadership qualities, particularly her uncompromising stance and unquenchable appetite to continually use her position in society to contribute to the development of mankind.”

Dr. Salma began her career as a medical doctor and then moved into health policy and programming, working with the United Nations, other development organisations and Nigerian government agencies.

In 2011, Dr Salma was appointed Commissioner of Health in Borno State--a state that has one of the worst maternal mortality and infant mortality rates in Nigeria. Her work led to improvements in maternal health care, as demonstrated by increased deliveries by skilled birth attendants and a rise in antenatal care visits. In the post, Dr Salma led a health sector response that resulted in significant improvements in routine immunisation, including the achievement of zero polio cases in 2013, as well as increased availability of life saving drugs and commodities. 

In 2015, Dr Salma returned to the Federal Ministry of Health where she established and coordinated the health response to the humanitarian crisis in the north-east and mobilised additional resources to reduce the impact of insurgencies on people’s lives, particularly women and children.

Dr Salma joined the UK government funded Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH2) programme in 2016. MNCH2 works to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity in Northern Nigeria by strengthening health systems and empowering communities. As Team Leader, Dr Salma has overall responsibility for programme coordination to ensure MNCH2 achieves its objectives. In this role, Dr Salma has institutionalized MNCH2 interventions within the systems of governance at both the state and national levels and secured government commitments in some select states of Kano and Jigawa to sustain the interventions. This includes the provision of free lifesaving drugs and commodities and the renovations facilities.

“On behalf of Palladium and the MNCH2 team, I would like to congratulate Dr Salma for this amazing achievement,” said Jabu Nyenwa, Director of Palladium’s EMEA Health Practice. “This award could not have gone to a better person. Dr Salma is the epitome of diligence and unwavering commitment to creating positive impact in the lives of vulnerable and marginalised women and children in Northern Nigeria.”