WHO DG appoints Nigeria’s NCDC DG Chikwe Ihekweazu assistant DG


Photo: Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu

WHO DG appoints Nigeria’s NCDC DG Chikwe Ihekweazu assistant DG

The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has announced the appointment of Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu of Nigeria to the WHO as Assistant Director General.

Ihekweazu is the current DG of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the appointment takes effect from November 1.

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NCDC has worked so hard in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world, a feat that had culminated in Nigeria’s ranking as the fourth-best country globally in efforts to mitigate the pandemic.

The memo read:

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

“Dr 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.

“These work experiences include the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

“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, Nsukka 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 specialization in the United Kingdom.  He is widely published in medical peer-review journals.

“I am confident that Dr Ihekweazu’s appointment will help further accelerate WHO’s work in health emergencies.  Please join me in welcoming him to WHO,.” the WHO DG said.

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