WHO welcomes appointment of Chair-elect of Gavi Board Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Statement by WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan
The World Health Organization welcomes the appointment of the Chair-elect of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She will take up the position of Chair from January 2016.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is a renowned development economist and former Nigerian Finance Minister. She brings more than 33 years of development and financial expertise to the Gavi Board at a critical period for immunization in developing countries.
Earlier this year, WHO warned that vaccines are not being delivered equitably or reliably and that only 1 out of the 6 key vaccination targets for 2015 is currently on track – the introduction of under-utilized vaccines, a target to which Gavi has contributed significantly.
In taking up the position of Board Chair, Dr Okonjo-Iweala will succeed Dagfinn Høybråten, a former Norwegian Minister of Health and current Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. She will also work closely with Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, who is Vice Chair of Gavi.
Since 2000, Gavi has supported the immunization of more than half a billion additional children, leading to seven million future deaths being averted.
WHO is one of the founding members of Gavi, a public-private partnership formed in 2000, to address global inequities in access to and coverage of available lifesaving vaccines. Over the next 5 years, WHO will continue to lead collective efforts to achieve and sustain universal vaccination coverage as outlined in the Decade of Vaccines Global Vaccine Action Plan. WHO plays a critical role providing global recommendations on immunization, ensuring that vaccines are safe and of assured quality, and providing support to countries to implement immunization programmes.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).