Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu is the Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO) for Surveillance and Health Emergency Intelligence and leads the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, based in Berlin, Germany. Previously, he was the first Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), building it from a small unit to a leading public health agency in Africa.
He acted as Interim Director of the West Africa Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control through 2017. He trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has over 25 years’ experience working in senior public health and leadership positions in national public health institutes including NCDC, South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the UK’s Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute.
He has also led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly building surveillance systems and responding to major infectious disease outbreaks. He was part of the first WHO COVID-19 international mission to China. Dr Ihekweazu is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria and has a Masters in Public Health from the Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany.