Covid-19 Recovery: Lagos Health Commissioner’s Trip from the Valley of Death

Prof. Abayomi taking COVID-19 test


-17 things that make him “tick”

By Ademola Adegbamigbe

His case was like a blacksmith working on the anvil, feeling the heat! Professor Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State who has been in the forefront of the fight against covid-19, contracted the virus, declared it publicly and went into isolation.

Now, the Professor has returned from the valley of the shadow of death, in manner of speaking. He has recovered.

This was made known today, 31 August, by Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner for Information, Lagos State.

In his words: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce the recovery and subsequent negative test for COVID-19 of the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi. Following the mandatory isolation, the Commissioner retook a COVID-19 PCR test which returned negative yesterday evening. Professor Abayomi is very grateful and humbled by the deep concern shown and expressed by Executive Council members, civil servants, Lagos residents, Nigerians, both locally and in the diaspora, through prayers, messages, phone calls and gifts. He will be returning to his full duties gradually and remains resolute in delivering the mandate of Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whom he says stood by him steadfastly in these trying times and is very appreciative of.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu, the Incident Commander, is excited by the news and urges Lagosians to realise that COVID-19 is still with us; they should keep obeying the guidelines- washing their hands, wearing face masks and avoiding large gatherings, among others.”

When Professor Abayomi went into isolation on 24 August, he said publicly: “With utmost sense of responsibility, I am obliged to make it known to the general public that I have tested positive to #COVID19. Consequently, I have proceeded on a 14 days self- isolation and treatment at home.

Nevertheless, I remain committed to continue to discharge my duties as the Commissioner for Health and Deputy Incident Commander for #COVID19 responses in Lagos State. I am extremely enthusiastic and hopeful of overcoming this phase of our collective fight against COVID-19.”

As reported on this platform same day, Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information said Prof Abayomi contracted the virus subsequent to his close contact with persons feeling unwell and testing positive for the COVID-19 infection. He added that Professor Abayomi became aware of his status following the required testing protocol of contact tracing procedures.

“However, he is doing well with no symptoms.

“Adhering to the protocol of the homebased strategy in Lagos State, the Honorable Commissioner will be isolating in his home for the next 14 days

“But will continue to discharge his duties both as the Deputy Incident Commander of the Incident Command System for COVID-19 and most especially, as the Honorable Commissioner for Health,” the Commissioner said.


Below are 17 facts that make Professor Abayomi “tick”, according to Olatunji Ola Babalola (FB)

1.He is a Professor Emeritus of Medicine

  1. His full name is Prof Akin Emmanuel Abayomi
  2. He is 68 years old
  3. Prof Akin Abayomi is a specialist in Internal Medicine, Haematology, Oncology, Environmental Health and Biosecurity.
  4. Akin studied at the Royal Medical College of Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London where he attained his first graduate degree in Medicine and progressing to obtain fellowships from both Royal College of Medicine in the United Kingdom and the College of Medicine of South Africa.
  5. Akin has worked in several countries around the world in Internal Medicine and has been exposed to a variety of geographical variations of disease patterns within the discipline of Internal Medicine.
  6. Abayomi also trained in ecosystem integrity, wilderness management and biosecurity and has a special interest in environmental health and passion for ecosystem integrity and the impact of environmental degradation on human health, practicing holistic organic agroforestry in combination with ecosystem conservation.
  7. Akin manages a 300 Acre organic bio habitat forest conservation project in his spare time in Osun State on the banks of Osun River.
  8. Professor Abayomi’s focus has mainly been on the concept of emerging infectious diseases and the development of laboratory and clinical capacity in Africa.
  9. Professor Abayomi was a PI on the H3Africa Genomic project, Director of the Cape Haematology Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and adviser to the Royal College of Pathologists for Africa.
  10. He was the president of the South African Society of Haematology and serves on council of the International Society for Clinical Cytometry and the European, Middle East and Africa Bio-banking Society.
  11. Professor Abayomi until his appointment as the Commissioner for Health in Nigeria’s most populous city – Lagos was a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Emeritus in the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town and Principal Investigator of the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium or GET, which was established at the height of the Ebola Outbreak to address bio-security concerns in Africa.
  12. Before his appointment as Lagos state Commissioner of Health, Prof Akin Abayomi was working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
  13. In his words: “My focus has mainly been on the complications of HIV and the development of laboratory and clinical capacity to rise to the challenge of the HIV epidemic in the developing world and Africa”.
  14. A recap of his qualifications. Prof Akin Abayomi, Emeritus Professor, internal medicine – hematology, oncology, environmental health and biosecurity. Royal College of Medicine UK, advisor royal college of pathologists for Africa, Principal Investigator H3Africa genomic project.
  15. He is the Principal Investigator Global Emerging pathogens treatment consortium, ebola biosecurity concerns in Africa, Professor Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Professor Emeritus, department of pathology, University of Stellenbosch, Cape town.
  16. Right now,  he is the man charged with the responsibility of tackling the deadly coronavirus in Lagos and Nigeria at large.

-Ademola Adegbamigbe,  Editor of TheNEWS, has been reporting life, politics and the economy in the last 26 years.