NCDC gets new Director-General

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Ifadayo Morayo Adetifa as the new director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Adetifa would be replacing Chikwe Ihekweazu who was recently appointed as an assistant director-general of the World Health Organisation’s Health Emergency Intelligence Hub.

Adetifa’s appointment was made known in a statement shared on Facebook by Tolu Ogunlesi, the president’s aide on Monday, September 6.

The Outgoing NCDC DG

Ihekweazu was appointed as NCDC DG by President Buhari on August 16, 2016.

The NCDC is Nigeria’s public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies across the country.

A trained infectious disease epidemiologist, Ihekweazu became the first substantive head of the agency in November 2018 following the signing of the NCDC Act into law by President Buhari.

The outgoing DG has over 20 years of experience in the public health sector and has handled various leadership positions in several national public health institutes, including the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute.

During his tenure as the DG of NCDC, Ihekweazu led the response to several outbreaks of infectious diseases such as yellow fever, Lassa fever, monkeypox and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, September 1, the WHO announced the appointment of Ihekweazu as the assistant DG for the organisation’s health emergency intelligence hub.

He is expected to lead the WHO epidemic intelligence in Berlin, Germany from November 1, 2021, the organisation said. 

NCDC’s Incoming DG

Adetifa is a consultant paediatrician trained at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

He is also an associate professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). 

A commissioner on the Lancet Nigeria Commission, Adetifa has experience of working across Nigeria, the African continent and globally.

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