Chinua Achebe's Legacy Continues: Daughter Maureen Okam-Achebe wins Harvard Medical School's 2024 Faculty Development and Diversity Award

Maureen Okam-Achebe

Maureen Okam-Achebe, daughter of renowned Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, has been awarded the prestigious Brigham and Women's Hospital 2024 Faculty Development and Diversity Award by Harvard Medical School

The award recognizes her exceptional achievements in clinical care, research, education, and community service.

Okam-Achebe, a faculty member at the hospital, was notified of her award in a letter dated July 2, 2024. The Brigham and Women's Hospital, a world-class academic medical center and premier teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, bestows these annual awards to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of its faculty.

Chidi Achebe, Maureen's sibling and chairman of African Integrated Development Enterprise Public Benefit Corporation (AIDE PBC), shared the news on social media, expressing pride in his sister's accomplishment.

“The 2024 Faculty Awards designation acknowledges the exceptional achievements of BWH faculty in one or more of the four pillars of academic life; clinical care, research, education, and community service,” the letter reads.

Brief bio of Maureen Okam Achebe

Okam Achebe earned her first medical degree from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria; a hematology and medical oncology training at Yale School of Medicine; and a masters in public health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The doctor is also an associate professor, Harvard Medical School; director, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Outpatient Infusion Center; clinical director, Non-Malignant Hematology Clinic; director, Brigham and Women’s Hospital sickle cell program; and instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School.

The medical expert co-chairs the data subcommittee of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) consortium on newborn screening for sickle cell disease (SCD) in Africa.

The sub-committee seeks to demonstrate the benefits of screening and early intervention for SCD underway in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Okam Achebe also serves as a commissioner on the Lancet Non-Communicable Disease and Injuries (NCDI) Nigeria Poverty Commission as the sickle cell disease expert and guides the identification and prioritisation of policies, interventions, and integrated delivery platforms to effectively address and reduce SCD burden in the country. 

The expert is actively involved in clinical trials and translational research at BWH and was an investigator in the development of two of the most recently used US FDA-approved drugs for SCD. 

According to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Okam Achebe will be honoured for her accomplishments on October 28.

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