Nigerian’s Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has been appointed as assistant director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in charge of health emergency intelligence.
WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus, in a statement, said Ihekweazu will lead the work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally.
“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu as Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence from November 1, 2021,” Ghebreyesus’s statement reads.
He added that Ihekweazu “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,” the statement concluded.
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.
The world health body also said the Nigeria NCDC chief has also led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly in response to major infectious disease outbreaks around the world.
According to the WHO, “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.”