*Appointed Assistant DG, WHO
Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has moved a step higher on the career scale. The move took form on Wednesday with the announcement that the hugely successful head of the country’s anti Covid-19 agency has been appointed Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, WHO, in charge of Health Emergency Intelligence. The appointment takes effect from November 1, 2021
In a statement issued last Tuesday night, WHO pointed out that Dr Ihekweazu will be in charge of strengthening the pandemic and epidemic intelligence across the world. His job definition also includes heading WHO’s centre 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,” WHO Director General, Dr Tedros said.
Dr Ihekweazu was trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist with over two decades of working experience. His work record includes stints at both public health and leadership positions in numerous national public health institutions, including South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Disease, NICD, the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, RKI.
Dr Ihekweazu also had short stints with the United Nations handling major global infectious disease outbreaks.
Born in Germany, the renowned Nigerian virologist is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He had his Masters in Public Health, MPH, from the Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany.
A widely published author in medical peer-review journals, Dr Ihekweazu is a proud Awardee of the 2003 Fellowship for the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training, EPIET, before completing his Public Health specialization in the United Kingdom.