The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has been appointed Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He will head the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin as well as lead the work on strengthening pandemic and epidemic intelligence globally.

According to a statement by the WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the University of Nigeria alumnus will resume his position by November 1, 2021.

He said: “I am pleased to welcome Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu as an Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence from 1 November 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.

“Dr Ihekweazu is currently the Director-General of Nigeria Center 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 (NICD), the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI). He has led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly in response to major infectious disease outbreaks around the world.

“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 (MPH) from the Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany.

“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. He is widely published in medical peer-review journals.

“I am confident that Dr Ihekweazu’s appointment will help further accelerate WHO’s work in health emergencies. Please join me in welcoming him to WHO.”

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