Dr. Mrs. Olufunke Taibat Akanle, a licenced physiotherapist, is the current Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria.
Olufunke was born on July 22, 1969 in Ondo town, Ondo State, Nigeria. She attended St. Peter Anglican Primary School (1974-1980) and proceeded for her secondary education to Ekimogun Community Grammar School, Bolorunduro, Ondo State (1980-1986). From there she went for her A/Levels (1987/88). She gained admission into the Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti and graduated in 1991 with a National Diploma in Science Laboratory Technology (in Upper Credit division).
Mrs. Akanle graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiotherapy. She started her career after her internship and National Youth Service in 1996/1997. She went on to obtained two Master’s degrees in: Orthopaedic and Sport Physiotherapy from the University of Ibadan and Ergonomics and Industrial Physiotherapy from the University of Lagos in 2004 and 2010 respectively. She is currently undergoing her doctoral programme in Physiotherapy with bias in Ergonomics and Industrial Physiotherapy at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
She is a member of many professional associations, some of which are Nigerian Society of Physiotherapy and the Chartered Institute of Administration. She is a Fellow of both the Institute for Health Insurance & Managed Care of Nigeria and the Institute of Management Consultants. She has passion for research in Ergonomics and Muscoskeletal Disorder.
After a history of experience in the private sector, she started her career with the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists Board in 2004 as a Principal Physiotherapist. She was promoted to the position of Chief Physiotherapist and later became Assistant Director of Physiotherapy and the Head of the Institute of Medical Rehabilitation. She was appointed as the Acting Registrar of the Board in 2014 and was confirmed as the Registrar/CEO in 2015, a position she currently occupies as the first female Registrar of the Board.
She has participated in several trainings and workshops both nationally and internationally, both as a facilitator and as participant. Amongst these are: “Physiotherapy in Medical Emergencies”, “Intensive Care and Outcome Measures in Physiotherapy Practice” organized by the Nigerian Society of Physiotherapy in collaboration with Committee of Heads of Physiotherapy Departments in Nigeria. She also participated in The Medical Education Program in Nigeria on “Responsible Conduct of Research/Grant Writing Workshop”, The Lagos State Cooperative College Course on “Bringing Wealth to the Grassroot: the Role of Cooperative Societies” She has a certificate of participation from the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations on “Developing Management Capacity and Analytical Skills for Executive and Admin Officers”. She also has a certificate of participation on “Personal and Personnel Effectiveness and Efficiency”.
She has participated in two world conferences namely World Conference on Professional Regulations and World Confederence on Physical Therapy. She has delivered series of lectures on professionalism, code of ethics and the relevance of Continuing Professional Development institutions. She has been one of the Nigeria’s representatives at the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) meetings during harmonisation of minimum benchmark curriculum of training in Physiotherapy and other allied health professions, accreditation guidelines, professional code of ethics and regulations.
Dr. Taibat Olufunke Akanle has led several teams and committees, on several occasions for clinical accreditations, academic accreditations and inductions in several training institutions that teach or offer Physiotherapy and other Medical Rehabilitation programmes across the nation. This, she has done in her capacity as a certified and licensed physiotherapist and as the Registrar of the regulatory board, MRTB.
Since her assumption as the Registrar/ CEO of the Board, she has engaged in aggressive accreditation and reaccreditations of clinical and academic training institutions of Medical Rehabilitation programmes. She embarked on advocacy programme for training institutions to commence training in physiotherapy and other medical rehabilitation programmes listed above. Her core passion has been to wage war against quackery in the profession. This, she has been doing through the inspectorate/surveillance team and other means as empowered by the Board’s enabling law.
Since her assumption of office, she has given priority to policy issues such as access to health by persons living with disabilities in Nigeria. She has made International Day for Persons with Disabilities a festival every 3rd of December of the year. She also ensured the inclusion of Disabilities and Rehabilitation as a section on National Health Policy 2016. She aligns the programme of the Board towards the actualization of the World Health Organisation Action Plan 2015-2021 on disabilities and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
This informed her organising the first International Conference of Medical Rehabilitation Professions in Nigeria and sub- Saharan Africa in September 2017. The conference was well attended by over 650 participants and the full representation of Federal Ministry of Health. It is worthy to note that in the 25 years of establishing the Board, this was the first time the various professions under the regulations of the Board ever came together to brainstorm on how to scale up medical rehabilitation services in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mrs Akanle is a recipient of many awards among which is National Humanitarian Award and recently the award of Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Medicine (Honorary) by the Commonwealth University and London Graduate School during the Leadership in Management and Health Care Summit in Dubai. She is also a receiver of an honorary doctorate degree in Public Health Administration from Prowess University, Delaware, USA. She is a Fellow of the Occupational Safety and Health Association of the UK.
She is a Consultant Orthopaedic Physiotherapist and an Ergonomic and Occupational Health Physiotherapist. She is also a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Physiotherapy College of Nigeria (FNPPCN) Orthopaedic.
Olufunke is a God fearing woman and she is happily married with children.
It is in recognition of her accomplishments in the Registration, Promotion and Development of Medical Rehabilitation Services in Nigeria that Dr Olufunke Taibat Akanle was deemed worthy to be conferred with the Nigerian Achievement Award.