Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire announced the appointment of Dr. Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa as the new General Director (DG) of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) praised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He thanked the outgoing NCDC General Director Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, recently appointed Assistant Director General for Health Emergency Intelligence at the World Health Organization (WHO) for his leadership of the NCDC over the past five years. In the signed declaration, the Minister noted that the new NCDC DG will continue the Agency’s mandate in the areas of prevention, preparedness and detection of, and response to, infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies in Nigeria.
Adetifa is an Epidemiologist and Consultant Pediatrician who is currently Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). , United Kingdom, and clinical epidemiologist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) -Wellcome Trust Research Program (KWTRP) in Kilifi, Kenya.
Adetifa is currently a member of the World Health Organization’s Africa Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group for the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program, WHO Technical Advisory Group on Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines (RSV) and through the Kenyan National Immunization Coordination Commission ittee.
Since 2020 he has been Commissioner of the Lancet Nigeria Commission and Co-Head of the Commission Burden of Diseases Working Group.
He is a graduate of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Kwara State. He completed his specialist training in pediatrics and child health at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos to become a Fellow of the West Africa College of Physicians.
According to Ehanire, “during the stay, he also received training in Infectious Diseases at the Institute for Infectious Diseases, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, and at the Institute for Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.
“Dr. Adetifa’s extensive experience includes assessing the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, launched in Nigeria in 2015, on vaccine seroepidemiology application to estimate population immunity, infection strength and vaccination coverage in African environments, as well as COVID-19 epidemiology.
While commending the leadership of the outgoing Directorate-General, the minister said Ihekwea joined the NCDC when it was a fledgling institution and led it through a period of remarkable transformation and global recognition.
He said: “Under his leadership, Nigeria’s health security capacity has improved, as evidenced by improved infectious disease control skills and resources.
His appointment by the WHO is a recognition of its excellence and professionalism and reaffirms Nigeria Contribution to global health.