17th May 2024

Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, a former Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as a Presidential Coordinator for the Government’s Coronavirus Response Programme.

In that role, Dr Asamoa-Baah will be President Akufo-Addo’s point man for the response effort, and will be responsible for pulling together and coordinating all aspects of the response programme by Government.

Experience

Dr Asamoa-Baah comes to the job with a suitable wealth of experience, including supervising the creation of a new Health Emergency Programme in WHO following the Ebola outbreak in 2014; leading WHO’s work in developing the Ebola vaccine; and leading the team that developed a formal process of quality control for the training and verification of emergency medical teams.

Other experiences include providing leadership for the development of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework in 2011; leading the development of WHO R+D Blueprint to cut the time needed to develop and manufacture candidate products from years to months; and chairing the WHO Senior Management Committee that developed strategies and plans for the control of epidemics (Ebola, Merco, Zika and Famine).

He also led the global efforts to develop a streamlined and integrated strategy for Neglected Tropical Diseases, and in the process helped to coin the name “Neglected Tropical Disease” and supervised the technical development of a rapid and reliable diagnostic test suitable for use in resource restrained settings for sleeping sickness and Chagas disease.

He again supervised the mapping of NTDs in sub-Saharan Africa, pinpointing areas of endemicity and allowing a much more targeted approach to mass drug administration and the surveillance needed to oversee its impact. He also developed technical strategies for the management of diseases with epidemic potential as well as worked to establish vaccine stockpiles for meningitis, smallpox, cholera and yellow fever.

Educational background

Dr Asamoa-Baah holds a Master’s Degree in Community Health from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery (MB.Ch.B) from the University of Ghana Medical School. He also holds Postgraduate diplomas in Health Planning from Keele University, UK, Health Economics from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and Health Policy from the University of Wisconsin, USA.

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