- As part of its mission is to improve global health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has appointed Obinna Onyekwena
- Onyekwena will serve as the Deputy Director, Infectious Disease Advocacy at the Foundation in Washington
- The foundation is one of the largest private charitable organizations in the world, with an endowment of more than $50 billion
Seattle - A 44-year-old Nigerian medical doctor with extensive experience supporting countries across the globe in tackling the world’s biggest infectious diseases.
A Nigerian medical doctor, Obinna Onyekwena, has been appointed Deputy Director, Infectious Disease Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington.
Dr Onyekwena, 44, has extensive experience supporting countries across the globe in tackling the world’s biggest infectious diseases.
In his new role, Dr Onyekwena will lead the foundation’s strategies and portfolio of investments for increasing political commitment, resourcing, and implementation of the Neglected Tropical Diseases, and The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
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Dr. Onyekwena earned his medical degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the United Kingdom.
Prior to his appointment, he had an outstanding 10-year career at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria where he supported the strengthening of national responses to three of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.
He also managed investments that successfully scaled up innovation in delivery of HIV services across Africa and Asia.
Announcing the appointment on his Linkedin page, Dr Onyekwena wrote:
“I’m thrilled to share that I will be joining the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as their new Deputy Director, Infectious Disease Advocacy, based in Seattle, Washington.
“In this new role I will be leading the advancement of the foundation’s HIV, TB, Malaria and the Neglected Tropical Diseases advocacy strategies in partnership with the Program Advocacy and Communications (PAC) team.
“I am grateful for the incredible experience and long-lasting friendships from my time at The Global Fund, and the confidence bestowed on me by the leadership at The Gates Foundation.
“I believe that there is no better transition to make at this time than to another family working hard to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.”
Earlier in his career, Dr Onyekwena was the Associate Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at FHI360 Nigeria’s country office.
He played a major role in the advancement of national policies and scale up of Nigeria’s HIV, TB and Malaria programs and led studies to understand services and systems for Maternal and Child Health in Northern Nigeria.
Goodluck Jonathan, Kagame, Late Magufuli, others receive African Icon Award
In a related development, former Tanzanian president, late John Magufuli, Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, and a host of others will be honoured at the maiden edition of the African Heritage Concert and Awards.
The distinguished African personalities would be honoured at the event slated for Saturday, April 1, in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
According to a statement sent to Legit.ng by the organisers, the event is intended to celebrate and honour personalities of African heritage who have distinguished themselves through remarkable achievements across the globe.
Buhari congratulates minister of state, budget on South Korean national award
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated Prince Clem Agba, the minister of state for budget and national planning on the conferment of the National Award of the Order of Diplomatic Service by the president of South Korea.
The award was presented to the minister by Korea ambassador to Nigeria, Amb Kim Young-Chae, on behalf of President Yoon Suk Yeol.
The president noted that the award is in recognition of the minister’s personal achievements and contributions to strengthening the ties between Nigeria and South Korea.