Book launch: ‘Small by small’ by Ike Anya



6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London
10 Thornhaugh Street
London WC1H 0XG


Free (donations to RAS gratefully received)

Spend an unforgettable evening with Ike Anya as he shares his memoirs as a doctor in Nigeria of the 1990s. Ike will be in conversation with his childhood friend and fellow co-founder of TEDxEuston Nigeria Health Watch and EpiAfric, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu. 

As he works his way through his medical training, Ike’s grandmother reassures him, ‘Everything worthwhile is achieve small by small.’ In this exclusive event Ike’s story charts the triumphs and failures of his student days through to his first demanding year as a house officer. A medical memoir unlike any from the West, this is filled with the colour and vibrancy of the tempestuous 1990s Nigeria, where political unrest, social change and a worsening economy make a doctor’s life particularly challenging.

Join him, in conversation, for a refreshing take on his medical journey. The session includes excerpts readings and Q&A. Attendees are invited to stay for a relaxed reception with African food and drinks served by Pitanga.

  • Discussant: Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu,
  • Chair: Dr Titilola Banjoko(Royal African Society)


About the Author

Ike Anya is a consultant in public health medicine working in Nigeria and the UK, most recently supporting the NHS response to COVID in Scotland. An honorary lecturer in public health at Imperial College, he teaches at Bristol University & the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. A 2007 TED Global Fellow, he co-founded Nigeria Health Watch, EpiAfric, TEDxEuston and the Abuja Literary Society.

He is an advisory council member of the AKO Caine Prize and published in The Guardian, Huffington Post, Granta, Catapult Eclectica and in the anthology of essays by Nigerian writers on Nigeria: Of This Our Country. Co-editor of The Weaverbird Collection of New Nigerian Writing, he has an MA in Creative Non-Fiction from UEA.



If you are not attend in person, please register here to join us online.


About the Discussant and Chair

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu is currently Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO) for Surveillance and Health Emergency Intelligence and is leading the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, based in Berlin, Germany. Prior to this, Dr Ihekweazu was the first Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and led the agency between July 2016 and October 2021, where he built up this national public health agency from a small unit to leading public health agency in Africa, cooperating closely with the Africa Centres for Disease Control. He acted as Interim Director of the West Africa Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control through 2017.

Dr Ihekweazu trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has over 25 years’ experience working in senior public health and leadership positions in several national public health institutes, including NCDC, South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA), and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Dr Ihekweazu has led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly to build surveillance systems and in response to major infectious disease outbreaks around the world. He was part of the first WHO COVID-19 international mission to China, in February 2020. Dr Ihekweazu is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria and has a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship for the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) and subsequently completed his Public Health specialisation in the UK. He has over 150 publications in medical peer review journals mostly focused on the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Dr Ihekweazu is on the board of the NGOs: African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS), Public Health Foundation of Nigeria, Health Watch Foundation, Society for Family Health (SFH), Education as a Vaccine (EVA) and he is on the Africa Policy Advisory Board of ONE. He was a TED Fellow, and co-founded and delivered the TEDxEuston event from 2009 to 2019.

He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) awarded by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, the National Productivity Order of Merit and Officer of the Order of the Niger awarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for his service to Nigeria.


Titilola Banjoko currently works as an Executive Managing Director in the NHS. She has a clinical background. She successfully pioneered the formation of AfricaRecruit and aimed at harnessing human resources and social capacity in Africa. She serves on the council of the Royal African Society and she is a Trustee of Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET). Currently she serves as the chair of the board at The International Rescue Committee (IRC) UK, on the board at IRC Inc and Chair at the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD). She is a Fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative and co-convened the Better Health for Africa Initiative.

She previously served on the many boards which include: the European Commission–United Nations Joint Migration and Development Initiative, the Department for International Development, the Global Poverty Action Fund Advisory Board and the World Health Organisation’s Health Worker Global Policy Advisory Council. She was also a Senior Research Associate at the UK’s Foreign Policy Centre and board of the Commonwealth Business Women’s Forum. She is regularly invited by the mainstream media to discuss issues on topical news items, speak as a panellist, and chair high level stakeholder events. In 2006, she was named as one of the Prides of a Continent: Africa’s gifts to the world. She has received numerous awards and endorsements over the last 10 years. In 2019, she was recognised by the Nigerian Healthcare Professionals UK as one of the 70 most Outstanding Professionals in the United Kingdom. She is passionate about supporting and giving a voice to the voiceless and serving humanitarian causes.

Fun fact: Titi’s younger brother, now a medical doctor in the US was my classmate in secondary school in Lagos but I had no idea they were related until very recently