By Osahon Osahon
The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has been appointed Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in charge of Health Emergency Intelligence.
His appointment takes effect from November 1, 2021.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced the appointment in a statement issued Tuesday night.
Tedros said in the statement that by his new appointment, Ihekweazu will lead work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally, including heading the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin.
“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,” Tedros said.
He expressed confidence that Dr. Ihekweazu’s appointment will help further accelerate WHO’s work in health emergencies.
A trained infectious disease epidemiologist, 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.
With 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 (NICD), the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Ihekweazu has also led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly in response to major infectious disease outbreaks around the world.
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.
The epidemiologist who was born in Germany, is widely published in medical peer-review journals.