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WHO appoints NCDC boss, Ihekweazu, as DG

By Idowu Abdullahi

After leading Nigeria’s successful emergency response against coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed the the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) boss, Chikwe Ihekweazu, as the Assistant Director General of Health Emergency Intelligence.

As gathered, Ihekweazu, who was until his appointment the NCDC Director-General, would be leading the work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally, including heading the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin.

Confirming the development in a letter on Wednesday, the WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that Ihekweazu’s appointment takes immediate effect on November 1, 2021.

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

He added that before his appointment, the former NCDC boss has led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly in response to major infectious disease outbreaks around the world.

“Dr Ihekweazu is currently the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. He was trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist, 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.

“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,” Ghebreyesus’ letter contained in a statement partly read.

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