A Nigerian and U. S. patent holder, Dr Kenny Acholonu, has commended Dr Muhammad Ali Pate on his elevation as the Head of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), noting that it brings “global technological visibility” to Nigeria.
Acholonu is the Chief Innovation Officer of Micronutrient Laboratories Limited, producing micronutrient powder for retail and industrial application.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pate has been appointed as Gavi’s next CEO, due to succeed Dr Seth Berkley in August 2023.
Berkley is leaving after 12 years at the helm of the vaccine alliance.
Pate emerged as CEO following a rigorous two-year search involving 344 candidates.
Gavi is an international organisation created in year 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
Part of its mission is to save lives and protect people’s health by increasing equitable and sustainable use of vaccines.
It has helped vaccinate no fewer than 981 million children in the world’s poorest country, thereby preventing more than 16.2 million future deaths.
Gavi had said: “Dr Pate was selected from a field of extremely talented and experienced fellow candidates. In the highly competitive process, candidates were tested on all aspects of the role.
“In unanimously recommending him to the Board, both the Search Committee and Governance Committee noted Dr Pate’s achievements as Minister of State for Health in Nigeria in 2011–2013.
“During which time he led a flagship initiative to revive routine immunisation and primary health care, chaired a presidential taskforce to eradicate polio and introduced new vaccines into the country.’’
Acholonu, in a congratulatory letter on Thursday, said: “The news of your elevation as the CEO of GAVI gives us much joy as well-deserved recognition.
“Your intellect, hard work and focus on human capital development are highly desirable and exceptional.
“Undoubtedly, you have given Nigeria and Africa global health science visibility.
“We thank the good Lord for this elevation and pray that you will use your position to encourage all practitioners in the health ecosystem for an improved African human development index.
“Especially in the subsectors of preventive nutrition, indigenous manufacturing technologies and other sustainable health initiatives. May your kind increase.”
Micronutrient Laboratories Limited manufactures and markets Cognito® micronutrient powder, a one-serve blend of essential nutrients and vitamins that states and individuals are deploying to fight micronutrient deficiency and malnutrition. (NAN) www.nannews.ng