Njideka Udochi, a Nigerian-born medical doctor practising in the US has received a major award for Covid-19 community engagement and response in Howard County, Maryland, USA.
The award, which is worth a whopping $65,000, comes barely three months after she was recognized as Maryland’s Family Physician of the Year by the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians in the United States.
In celebration of this feat, Dr Njideka Udochi enthused that “The award could not have come at a better time.”
She also noted the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on families, particularly people of colour, whilst emphasizing the importance of child vaccination as one of the veritable ways to stem the scourge.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has heavily impacted families, especially families of colour, leading to economic instability, loss of jobs for many parents, isolation for kids and increase in mental health symptoms. Vaccinating our kids is a great strategy to help them return safely to school, increase socialization and mental health issues,” she said.
Dr Udochi has pledged to use the $65,000 grant to “help increase access and engage children and families of BIPOC in vaccinations in the county”.
Njideka Udochi, the Medical Director of Millennium Family Practice and President of Millennium Health Group, Columbia, Maryland, is the younger sister to the current WTO DG, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.