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|A Doctor’s Journey To Sustainable Development Goals For Nigeria by Nonike: 1:10am On May 12, 2018|
Health is indeed an important component to achieving a robust and effective national security. Principles of health not only function to provide appropriate medical services but also track, monitor, and control disease outbreak. The current Nigerian health care system is fraught with constant threats and attacks from different infectious disease outbreaks year after year.
Exacerbating this scenario is the impact of the environmental phenomenon known as climate change. Its impact has worsened the situation with longer spells of disease outbreaks and reemergence of diseases previously thought to have been eradicated.
An unlikely hero from Nigeria is bringing attention to the impact of climate change on the health of humans especially those living in the vulnerable continent of Africa. Our hero is Dr Daniel Chidubem Gbujie from Akabor, Ahiazu Mbaise, Imo State. His advocacy strategy is executed through a not-for-profit organization, he founded in 2017 called “Team 54 Project”, that raises awareness about the health impact of climate change. He is recommending that a climate-resilient health system needs to be established in Nigeria, the most populous black nation in Africa if the nation is to achieve any form of sustainable development.
Along with his dedicated members, Team 54 Project coordinates various global actions via its partnership with international groups such as; Climate Reality Project, an organization chaired by Mr Al Gore, Ex-Vice President of the United States of America, and Parvati.org, an international group founded by famous Canadian singer Ms Parvati Devi.
The organization’s membership has citizens from 169 nations, who work to place the organization as one of the leading advocates of a sustainable future based on a green philosophy which supports eco-friendly initiatives.
Dr Gbujie was the first African Doctor to represent the World Medical Association at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2016. The convention on climate change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change on health and on other spheres of life.
Another role of the UNFCCC is to support all institutions involved in international climate change negotiations. They make practical arrangements to assist nations in implementing their commitments, and to coordinate with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies, notably the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its implementing agencies (UNDP, UNEP, and the World Bank), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on how best to achieve sustainable ecological development. Following these accomplishments, he was invited recently to the United Nations by the President of United Nations General Assembly, H.E Miroslav Lajčák to be part of a high-level meeting on peacebuilding and achieving sustainable development goals along with hundreds of global stakeholders. The meeting took place at the general assembly hall of the United Nations (UN) from Tuesday 24th – Thursday 26th April 2018.
Dr Gbujie is a worthy African Ambassador from the Igbo ethnic extraction and dresses in traditional attire for all international and local engagements he is invited (see images). “I owe no one any apologies for the way I dress to international functions because the traditional dress is part of my culture and my identity as a human of which I am so proud to show the world that I am a Mbaise man from Nigeria and nothing is going to change that forever,” he said.
He holds the view that he was born for a great purpose, a purpose he believes is to create a better world and change the perception of people he shares common values with, like other Africans. Dr Gbujie believes that we can have a better sustainable health system in Nigeria only if we lay plans to create a climate-resilient health system with all the stakeholders in the health sector being ready to be part of the inclusive, participatory health framework to achieve this mandate.
On the 2nd of March 2017, Dr Gbujie was part of the few Africans sponsored to participate in the prestigious climate reality project leadership training program in Denver, Colorado which exposed him to the climate advocacy movement and complex interconnection that the environmental challenge has on other sectors of life including health. Dr Gbujie met with Mr Al Gore and they shared thoughts of what the future holds for Africa and the rest of the world. With the new friendships he developed, he was able to establish a global network of passionate advocates and also develop many collaborative ideas and projects across the globe.
Dr Gbujie has carried out over 600 acts of advocacy on climate change and sustainable development goals (SDGs) across the globe with a target goal of 1000 before the end of 2018. He returned to his village in the south-east of Nigeria to establish the first all-female farmers/gardeners group in his ancestral home in Akabor Ahiazu-Mbaise, Imo state, on 30th of May 2017. A region constantly affected by poverty. He established the farmers club after he saw the way his kinsmen practised agriculture by burning farmlands, which was detrimental to the environment and their health.
He explained to the elders and the women that their agricultural practice of burning fields and trees plus the indiscriminate use of chemicals like pesticides were causing environmental problems that were also affecting the society. This lead to the launch of his Rural Green Initiative in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria. This initiative provided support for the female farmers by providing high power seeds from around the world and encouraged them to plant fresh food in gardens, cash crops, and flowers on available land. It also taught the proper management of disposable waste though on a lesser scale.
The Climate Reality Project received a commendation letter signed and sent on 9th of March 2018 by the organization’s Chief Executive Officer on behalf of Mr Al Gore, written to Dr Gbujie, recognizing his tremendous efforts in the global fight against climate change and his pursuit for the greener environment among vulnerable nations. He was also recently appointed a global brand ambassador for the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) in April 2018 by Parvati.org.
Dr Gbujie’s organization continues to tackle the challenges of climate change within and outside Nigeria through planting trees and shrubs, advocating for a cleaner environment and better waste management. Using the influence of social media, he has been able to create regular online recorded messages delivered in local languages to viewing centres in the community. He has also been able to support clean-up exercises to remove waste and also organized an international conference on climate change from 7th-9th December 2017 in the Philippines supported by the central, provincial and Mayoral government.
Since creating Team 54 Project, 15 months ago, the organization has made an impact by creating opportunities. For example, Nigerian fashion designers’ (who are his members) joy knew no bound when the Team 54 Project was able to partner with a company in India that produces green eco-friendly fabric, the collaboration has transformed their lives.
Another example Dr Gbujie’s impact is the introduction of the green painting artwork, which one of his members living in Switzerland does by using the can spraying technique. The team’s member, Carvart, is able to raise awareness about climate change through his artwork which depicts the impact and the urgent need to act. “I have been able to create a value-based content idea, through the fusion of the individual skills, talent, and passion. The passion we are talking about is the burning desire to do great things that can impact others and the environment positively through using one’s skills or talent.
Dr Gbujie has delivered over 189 papers and presentations across the world, with more presentations to be delivered before the end of the year. Noticeable among them is the presentation he will be making as a speaker at the 5th World Conference on Climate Change and Global warming from the 23rd of May – 24th of May 2018 at the prestigious Hilton New York JFK Hotel, 135 Avenue Queens New York USA. This international event will be attended by heads of states and renowned scientists working on climate change science and sustainability innovations.
“I am also working tirelessly to see to it that the Nigerian Government stops gas flaring by multinational oil companies in Nigeria,” said Dr Gbujie. He is doing this by working with other local groups in the country. He is also campaigning for the nation to shift to a clean green technologically driven economy,” he said.
As I conclude this article about this great son of Africa, I am again reminded that there are few among us that are extraordinary because they are able to harness the passion within them to create a great idea that makes an impact and positively influences others to do better too. Dr Gbujie is indeed an extraordinary man who has elevated the nation globally as a place where intelligent and creative people can be found, he deserves to be recognized by all the levels of government in Imo State and Nigeria so that others young Nigerians and youth from his state can emulate and be inspired to do greater things too.
Congratulations, Dr Gbujie Daniel Chidubem, we are proud of you and all your accomplishments.
Government should be serious, look at a genius like this young man don commot why won’t there be strikes. All the brainy ones have left and are doing great things few months after living.
Mark other health workers bone, doctors are indeed the head of health sector but they need assistance, no one can do it alone.
Dr. Gbujie don waka and many more go leave
I here say when him Dey UPTH them owe am many months salaries. I hear say till now them Dey one doctors for UPTH but other workers don chop money.
Link to the article https://jffc.in/2018/05/09/a-nigerian-youth-advocate-impacting-the-world-through-climate-actions-sdg13/
|Re: A Doctor’s Journey To Sustainable Development Goals For Nigeria by Nonike: 1:14am On May 13, 2018|
This story confirms what people are saying that doctors potential are destroyed here in Nigeria and when they go out they shine. Indeed we have a gem within us but never new. Even his colleagues both senior and junior and other health workers say the guy is good.
Youths are wasting away
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