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NCDC’s Ihekweazu gets WHO appointment

Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has been appointed as an assistant director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in charge of health emergency intelligence.

A statement by Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said Ihekweazu will lead the work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally.

According to him, the appointment comes into effect on November 1, 2021

He said, “I am pleased to welcome Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu as an Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence from November 1, 2021.

“He will lead the work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally, including heading the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin.

“I am confident that Dr Ihekweazu’s appointment will help further accelerate WHO’s work in health emergencies.”

According to WHO, Ihekweazu was trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has over 20 years of experience working in senior public health and leadership positions in several national public health institutes, including the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute.

“He has led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly in response to major infectious disease outbreaks around the world. Dr Ihekweazu, a Nigerian national, who was born in Germany, is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria and has a Masters in Public Health from the Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship for the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training and subsequently completed his Public Health specialization in the United Kingdom. He is widely published in medical peer-reviewed journals.”

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