July 24, 2024

Nigerian Physician Refuses to Lead the Vaccine Alliance

Harvard professor Muhammad Ali Pate, who formerly held prominent health positions in Nigeria, has resigned from his position as president of the Gavi global vaccine alliance, the organization said on Monday.

On August 3, Gavi had announced that Pate, a medical professional with training in both internal medicine and infectious disease, would take over. He would succeed US medical epidemiologist Seth Berkley, who had served as director since 2011.

According to the statement, Pate told Gavi “that he has taken an incredibly difficult decision to accept a request to return and contribute to his home country, Nigeria,” without providing any other information regarding the choice.

Instead, while a new CEO is still being sought after, Gavi’s Chief Operating Officer David Marlow will act as Interim CEO.

A non-profit organization called the Gavi Vaccine Alliance was established in 2000 to supply underdeveloped nations with a variety of vaccines.

According to the statement, since the organization’s founding, it has given immunizations to more than 981 million kids “and prevented more than 16.2 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries.”

Along with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi has assumed leadership of the Covax effort.

The international program has now distributed approximately 1.9 billion Covid vaccinations to 146 countries, with a concentration on giving donor-funded shots to the 92 economies with the poorest economies.

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