Professor Godwin Eni: Celebrating the 1st Nigerian BSc Physiotherapy Graduate

EDITOR'S NOTE: Come 2016, the premier physiotherapy education program at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria will be celebrating 50 years of Physiotherapy education in Nigeria. It behoves us to also celebrate and honor the very first Nigerian graduate of the BSc. Physiotherapy program of the University of Ibadan, Professor Godwin Eni. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about Professor Eni. Dialoging with him reveal a man of great accomplishments, very unassuming, very humble, and non-attention seeking. It actually took quite a bit of 'pressure'  to get Professor Eni come out and pencil down his experiences as the very first student of the BSc Physiotherapy program at Ibadan. In fact, he was the only student enrolled in 1966, and the first and only student that graduated from the Ibadan program in1969. Professor Eni took us through memory lane in his memoir found at the links below. Please read, and enjoy these great rendering of our history in Physiotherapy education in Nigeria, from the early years, as told us by the first student, and first graduate of a Nigerian BSc. Physiotherapy program.


Below is also a synopsis of Professor Eni's Biography.


Born in Nigeria, Dr. Eni attended the University of Ibadan where he graduated B.Sc. (Hons) Physiotherapy and became the first Nigeria University trained graduate physiotherapist in 1969. He undertook graduate studies in Neuro-Muscular Facilitation Techniques at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada in 1970, briefly returning to Nigeria as a lecturer at the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University. He worked as a physiotherapist and later as a department head at the Children’s Psychiatric Research Institute in London Ontario, Canada with responsibility for community rehabilitation services for South-Western Ontario. He obtained the M.Sc. degree in Health Services Planning and Administration, and PhD in Medical Sociology and Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Eni was the first Director of Rehabilitation Services at the University Teaching Hospital in Vancouver, Canada where he managed and integrated three autonomous units. He was the Director of Graduate Programs [M.Sc.; PhD] in Health Services Planning and Administration, Faculty of Medicine and later appointed Chair, Division of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Eni implemented the project-based Master of Health Administration [MHA] degree program and trained over 200 health care managers and administrators who occupy various positions of responsibility nationally and internationally as well as supervised over forty graduate students at the Masters and Doctoral degree levels. Professor Eni was a Nigeria National Universities Commission Scholar and Visiting Professor at the University of Nigeria College of Medicine. He was also a Visiting Professor in Administration at the University of Colorado, Denver, USA.

Dr. Eni has represented Canada abroad and consulted on primary health care, health services planning and administration, government/NGO collaboration, health policy development, infrastructure reform, child immunization, and curriculum development for governments, universities, and international organizations in 22 countries in Africa [Ghana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone] Asia [India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia]; Eastern Europe [Ukraine]; Trinidad; Australia; and China among other countries. Some of the international organizations he has consulted for include the Commonwealth Secretariat, U.K.; Finnish International Development Agency; Canadian Public Health Association; Canada’s International Immunization Program; Pan-American Health Organization; Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Health, Trinidad; University of Newcastle, Australia; Xian University and Ministry of Health, People’s Republic of China. Prof. Eni was one of the 100 black Canadians whose achievements and contribution to the Province of British Columbia was exhibited in 2009 at the Tech gallery, Simon Fraser University. Professor Eni played key roles in the governance of several non-profit organizations. In 2009 he was voted nationally a finalist to the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrants for his “achievements and contributions that have positively changed the face of Canada since your arrival”. He is listed in “Who’s Who in Black Canada” andthe Stamford “Who’s Who” in Management. He served two terms as Chair of Canadian Accreditation Commission. The first comprehensive Community Health Centre in Vancouver [Pacific Spirit] was implemented during his tenure as Chair of the Community Health Committee of the Regional Health Board. He has also received many awards including those from the Ministry of Health, Peoples Republic of China; Ministry of Health, Ukraine, and Vancouver Regional Health Board, British Columbia among others. Some of the positions he held over the years include:

  • Advisor, Primary Health care, Ministry of Health & Sanitation, Government of Sierra Leone, West Africa
  • Visiting Scholar, National Universities Commission, Nigeria
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Nigeria
  • Visiting Professor, Executive Graduate Program in Health Administration, University of Colorado, Denver, USA
  • Consultant, Commonwealth Secretariat; Finish International Development Agency; Canadian Public Health Association, etc - - -
  • Director, Graduate Program in Health Services Planning & Administration, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Chair, Division of Health Policy & Management, Dept. of Healthcare & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of B.C.
  • Director, Department of Medical Rehabilitation, University Hospital, Vancouver, Canada
  • Chair Commission on Accreditation, Council on Chiropractic Education of Canada
  • Chair, West-Side Community Health Committee, Vancouver/Richmond Regional Health Board, Vancouver, Canada
  • Chief Physiotherapist, Children’s Psychiatric Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Director, Injury Management Solutions, [IMS] Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Clinical Instructor, Program in Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Chair, Vancouver Multicultural Society
  • Vice Chair, Citizenship Council of British Columbia, Canada
  • Vice Chair, Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of British Columbia [AMSSA]
  • Member, Foreign Awards Committee, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Canada
  • Member, Canadian Society for International Health
  • Member, Canadian College of Health Service Executives
  • Member, Naming Rights Committee of the City of Vancouver and Race Relations Committee of Vancouver School Board
  • Member, National Health Research and Development Council of the Federal Ministry of Health, Canada
  • Physiotherapist University College Hospital Ibadan, Branson North York Hospital Toronto, Weston Physiotherapy Centre, Toronto, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Saskatoon, and University Hospital Saskatoon, Canada.