Nigeria's Chikwe Ihekweazu Appointed Assistant DG of World Health Organization
By Izunna Okafor
It was good news for Nigeria, as the World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed one of her citizens and the Head of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, as a top official.
Ihekweazu will resume as WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence from November 1, 2021.
The NCDC DG will lead the work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally.
Ihekweazu will oversee the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin, Germany.
At the hub’s inauguration on Wednesday, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus called the Nigerian the perfect person to assume the role.
“He brings vision and experience and will be an excellent addition to our WHO leadership team,” Ghebreyesus said.
Speaking, Ihekweazu expressed readiness to carry on the mission of the WHO and tackle global health challenges.
Noting that he worked at the country level for many years, the doctor said no part of the world can tackle pandemics and epidemics alone.
“We need everyone to achieve global health goals together,” the public health physician added.
Ihekweazu was born in Germany, studied medicine at the University of Nigeria (UNN) and obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.
He was an epidemiologist at the Berlin-based Robert Koch Institute and Co-director of the Centre for Tuberculosis at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa.