FORMER Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been re-appointed as the Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, www.newsbreakers.ng has reported.
Gavi is a global health initiative of billionaire, Bill & Melinda Gates, set up with the aim of saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in third world and developing countries.
The online news medium said according to the development it monitored on the institution’s website, Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala was re-appointed for another three-year term.
An official statement from Gavi reads: “Since her appointment in 2016, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership has enabled the Alliance to further its engagement with developing countries and for partners to scale up and finance immunisation programmes, while fostering public-private initiatives to improve access to healthcare for those most in need. Dr Okonjo-Iweala has also been an instrumental advocate for the positive economic benefits of vaccination.
The direction she has provided to the Gavi Board has been critical in the implementation of the Gavi 2016-2020 strategy, which aims to support the vaccination of a further 300 million children against life-threatening diseases, preventing 5 to 6 million deaths.”
Responding to her re-appointment, Okonjo-Iweala said: “I am greatly honoured by the confidence the Gavi Alliance Board has placed in me and as Chair of the Board I am excited to be given the opportunity to continue to dedicate my work to that greatest purpose of protecting the lives of millions of the poorest children in the world with life-saving vaccines.
“Universal access to immunisation will play a fundamental role in bringing about healthy, resilient populations and in ensuring that we develop stronger economies as we face the challenges of the next century.”
Re-appointed alongside Okonjo-Iweala was Dr. Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, who was offered a four-year extension at the helms of affairs of the organisation; whilst Gunilla Carlsson, former Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, was freshly appointed as the new Vice-Chair of Gavi’s Board.