On Monday, February 9, 2015, Dr. Olajide Idris, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health and a shinning light in the medical profession, clocked 60. A classy but modest reception was hosted in his honour by his close friends and associates. The very stately party was organised by Enthyst, the wave- making event planning outfit, owned by Ndidi Obioha.
The party was held at Idris’ GRA Ikeja residence, and it was graced by the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, his wife, Dame Abimbola, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Alhaja Bintu Omosefe Tinubu, the Iyalode of Lagos, many commissioners and top officials of the Lagos Civil Service. Also in attendance were Akinwunmi Ambode the Lagos gubernatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Described as a great team player and a thorough-bred professional, Idris has impacted so much on many lives, through his sense of commitment and service. He wormed his way into the hearts of most Nigerians through the deft and skillful manner he handled the Ebola crisis that plagued Lagos state last year.
Dr. Olajide Idris was born in Lagos on February 9, 1955. He had his primary education at the Holy Cross Primary School after which he gained admission into the Kings College, Lagos from where he completed his Secondary School and Higher School Certificates education in 1972 and 1974 respectively.
He was at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos to undergo his undergraduate medical training after which he bagged an MB.BS degree in 1980.On graduation as a doctor in 1980, he had his housemanship at the State Hospital, Abeokuta and went through rotational internship in Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Internal Medicine. In January 1982, he proceeded to the then Bendel State for his NYSC posting at Eku Baptist Hospital, Eku (now Delta State).
Further pursuit in postgraduate studies was outside the shores of Nigeria at the Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, where he enrolled in 1983 and bagged a Master?s Degree in Public Health (MPH) in 1985. On arrival from his postgraduate studies in USA, he worked between April 1985 and 1988 in a senior management position at the foremost private health consulting firm in Lagos i.e. Health Aids Limited. Between March 1992 and 1995, Dr. Idris was a Managing Partner of a private healthcare consulting firm. His stint at the private health sector covered areas such as healthcare planning, consulting/advisory services, hospital management, direct provision of clinical services and research. Thereafter, he functioned as the Medical Doctor-In-Charge of a Company Staff Clinic, providing primary care services to company staff and their families from 1993 to 1995.
In 1995, he returned to the United States of America to continue his medical practice covering Clinical Clerkship with First Care Medical Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, Metrolina Nephrology Associates, P.A and Mid Carolina Cardiology. He had his externship at the Presbyterian Hospital (Emergency Room), Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1998, he became a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Blood Pressure Research Unit, Irvin Center for Clinical Research, Columbia University, Div. of Cardiology, New York.
In recognition of his experience in areas of clinical practice, health planning, hospital management and health consulting/research, Dr. Idris was appointed as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in June 1999, a position he held till July 2007 after which he was appointed as the Honourable Commissioner for Health.
He is a professional member of the American Public Health Associations; the Nigerian Medical Association; and the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks.