WHO declares Dr Asamoa-Baah Public Health Champion
The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), has named Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah Public Health Champion.
This is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to global public health.
Dr Asamoa-Baah received the award alongside a former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, and former Regional Directors of WHO in the Africa Region.
“This award is in recognition of your outstanding service to public health and promotion of the wellbeing of the people of Africa,” the citation presented to Dr Asamoa-Baah by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, at the organisation’s 75th anniversary awards in Gaborone, Botswana, read.
The event was part of activities at the 73rd WHO Regional Committee for Africa Meeting held in that country.
In response, Dr Asamoa-Baah described WHO as a force for good and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the organisation for many years.
“I am grateful to WHO Regional Office for Africa for this recognition and appreciation. I am happy that WHO is recognising the role of member states and staff as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the organisation,” he said.
Dr Asamoa-Baah, a Ghanaian public health professional, joined WHO in 1998, serving the global public health for 19 years and rising to become the Deputy Director-General of WHO in 2007, until his retirement in 2017.
Dr Asamoa-Baah was instrumental in the establishment of the 2005 International Health Regulations and the raising of Global Visibility for Neglected Tropical Diseases.
His other notable achievements included revitalisation of primary health care; the establishment of pre-qualification programme as part of WHO essential medicines programme, and the development of the first global strategy for traditional medicine.
“Dr Asamoa-Baah is a distinguished global public health expert who truly deserved this recognition.
“Even in retirement, he continues to offer valuable service and contribution to both national and international efforts to promote the health and wellbeing of people,” the WHO Representative to Ghana, Prof. Francis Kasolo, said.
In 2020, President Akufo-Addo appointed Dr Asamoa- Baah as Presidential Coordinator for the government’s COVID-19 Response Programme, where he was responsible for coordinating the country’s response programmes.
Dr Asamoa-Baah was also recently appointed Chair of the National Vaccine Institute and interim Head of the Ghana Health Security Centre.