Dora Nkem Akunyili former Director General of the the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and ex minister of Information, has died according to a family source.
Dr. Akunyili died in an India Hospital where she has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment. She was aged 59.
She is a pharmacist and governmental administrator who has gained international recognition and won hundreds of awards for her work in pharmacology, public health and human rights.
Akunyili ran for election as Senator for Anambra Central on the All Progressive Grand Alliance[APGA] platform in April 2011 but was defeated by Chris Ngige of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). She immediately sent a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission disputing the result.
Until her death, she was a delegate at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja.
Since Akunyili took over leadership of NAFDAC, she has established as a top priority the eradication of counterfeit of drugs and unsafe food. Before Akunyili assumed duty, Nigeria became a place where fake and substandard foods and drugs were being dumped without any form of regulations. She became angry because “so many of (her) countrymen and women (were) fighting killer diseases like malaria and tuberculosis with little more than sugar syrup and chalk tablets, cynically packaged to look like the real thing.”
She was a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Pharmacologist in the College of Medicine,University of Nigeria, Nsukka (U.N.N.), Enugu Campus, before she became the NAFDAC boss.