Chidi Achebe, the famous novelist Chinua Achebe’s son, has been named the winner of the 2022 prestigious John and Samuel Bard Award in the United States for excellence in medicine and science, with Governor Willie Obiano and Governor-elect Charles Soludo felicitating with him.
The 2022 Bard College Awards will hold on May 27.
According to a statement by Anambra Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, Obiano, and Soludo were delighted about the award.
“This is a parting gift to me and the Anambra people as I am about to depart office after eight years of giving my best to a great state,” the statement quoted Obiano as saying.
It added, “Prof. Chinua Achebe remains a very great man even in the grave, and it is reassuring that his children like Chidi, a medical doctor who trained in some of the best institutions in the world, is steeped in the tradition of global excellence.”
Soludo described Achebe (chief executive of African Integrated Development Enterprise) as a worthy ambassador of Anambra whose passion for Africa’s rapid development “is reminiscent of his father’s lifelong commitment to Africa’s emancipation.”
Soludo, who will assume office as governor on Thursday, observed that despite living abroad for decades, “the younger Achebe is acutely conscious of his roots and belongs to an ever-increasing number of Anambra indigenes keenly interested in contributing actively to a new dawn in our beloved state.”
Calling Achebe a worthy ambassador of the country, the governor-elect said, “He is a pan Africanist of the finest hue.”
AIDE, which Achebe heads, is building 18 health facilities across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Kenya.
“The John and Samuel Bard Award is named for the two 18th-century physicians, father and son, whose descendant, John Bard, founded the college. The award honours scientists whose achievements demonstrate the breadth of concern and depth of commitment that characterized these pioneer physicians,” said Leon Botstein, president of Bard College in New York.
Previous recipients have included Nobel laureates Linus Pauling, Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, Mathilde Krim, and Lewis Thomas.
As AIDE chairman, the younger Achebe heads an organization that works to bring together international companies and expertise to create sustainable integrated delivery of medical care on the African continent.
He has also served as president and CEO of Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, medical director of Whittier Street Health Center, and assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine— all in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
The self-effacing hands-on workaholic earned his medical degree at the esteemed Dartmouth Medical School.
He then took a master’s degree in business administration from Yale University School of Management and another master’s in public health from Harvard School of Public Health.
While undertaking his professional endeavours, Achebe advocates health-care equality.
For his efforts in bridging health care disparities, he was awarded the 2012 Dartmouth College Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award for Ongoing Commitment.