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Muhammad Pate Declines GAVI Position For Appointment As Tinubu’s Minister

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Ex-Nigerian minister declines top global position for possible appointment as Tinubu’s minister

On Monday, the global vaccine alliance, GAVI, announced Mr Pate’s decision to decline his appointment as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Strong indications emerged on Monday that Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Health, Muhammad Pate, may make the ministerial list of President Bola Tinubu.

Mr Tinubu, who was sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th president in May, is yet to send the list of his ministers to the National Assembly as required by law.

As stipulated by law, Mr Tinubu is expected to forward the list of his preferred cabinet members to the parliament within 60 days of his assumption of office. But almost one month after he was sworn in, he is yet to appoint any ministers.

Pate’s hint

On Monday, the global vaccine alliance, GAVI, announced Mr Pate’s decision to decline his appointment as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr Pate, who was scheduled to assume office as GAVI’s CEO on 3 August, informed the organisation that “he has taken an incredibly difficult decision to accept a request to return and contribute to his home country, Nigeria.”

His reason for rejecting GAVI’s appointment has raised speculations that he may be considering a position in Mr Tinubu’s cabinet.

While PREMIUM TIMES could not reach Mr Pate, a source who works with President Tinubu confirmed that Mr Pate’s name was on the list of guests scheduled to see Mr Tinubu “about two weeks ago.”

The source, however, could not confirm if the president eventually met him.

GAVI’s Appointment

Gavi had on 13 February approved the appointment of Mr Pate as its next CEO.

Mr Pate, a medical doctor, was to replace Seth Barkley, also a medical practitioner, who is expected to end his 12-year reign as the organisation’s CEO on 3rd August.

Gavi announced Mr Pate as Mr Berkley’s successor, even as it promised to continue its work to support routine immunisation, outbreak response and COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide.

Rejection

Gavi, in a statement published on its website on Monday, said the board decided to appoint David Marlow, currently Gavi’s Chief Operating Officer, to the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective 3 August.

It said the appointment follows a communication from Mr Pate, that he will not be able to join Gavi.

“Mr Pate informed the Gavi Board Chair and Vice Chair that he has taken an incredibly difficult decision to accept a request to return and contribute to his home country, Nigeria,” Gavi wrote.

“Gavi fully respects the decision and wishes Mr Pate the very best for the future. On informing Gavi, Mr Pate thanked the Chair of the Gavi Board, José Manuel Barroso, the diverse set of Gavi Board members and partners, current CEO Seth Berkley, and the secretariat staff for their support over the last few months, commenting that he will remain a steadfast champion of the Gavi mission.”

About Pate

A medical doctor trained in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, with an MBA from Duke University in the United States, Mr Pate is currently the Julio Frenk Professor of Public Health Leadership at Harvard Chan School of Public Health and has served on several health-focused boards and expert panels in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors during his career.

 

He served as the Global Director for Health, Nutrition, and Population of the World Bank and Director of the Global Financing Facility at the World Bank between 2019 and 2021. He led the Bank’s $18 billion COVID-19 global health response and represented the bank on various boards, including those of Gavi, the Global Fund, CEPI and UNAIDS.

As Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health between 2011 and 2013, he led a flagship initiative to revive routine vaccinations and primary healthcare, chaired a presidential task force to eradicate polio and introduced new vaccines into the country.

About GAVI

Gavi, the vaccine alliance, is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi said it has helped to immunise more than 981 million children, and prevented more than 16.2 million future deaths.

The organisation said it has also helped to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries.

Gavi said it also plays a key role in improving global health security “by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningococcal, and yellow fever vaccines.”

After two decades of progress, the organisation said it is now focused on protecting the next generation, “above all the zero-dose children who have not received even a single vaccine shot.”

Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and UNICEF.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Lassa Fever Kills 150 In Nigeria — NCDC

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According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), 150 people died from Lassa virus in 125 local government areas throughout 27 states in the federation between January and March 2024.

The NCDC reported that the deaths were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6% overall from week one to week thirteen, 2024. This is higher than the CFR for the same time in 2023 (17.5%).

In its Lassa Fever Situation Report Epi Week 13, which was released on March 25–31, 2024, the agency revealed that 806 of the 5,295 suspected cases that were recorded were confirmed. Eyes Of Lagos reports,

According to the report, in week 13, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 25 in Epi week 12, 2024 to 15. These cases were reported in Ondo, Bauchi, Plateau and Edo states.

 

In total for 2024, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 LGAs, even as 62 percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 38 percent of cases were reported from 24 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Of the 62 percent confirmed cases, the NCDC said Ondo reported 24 percent, Edo 22 percent, and Bauchi 16 percent. The predominant age group affected is 31-40 years (Range: 1 to 98 years, Median Age: 32years), with a male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases of 1:1.

From the report, the number of suspected cases (5,295) increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2023 (4,338).

The agency confirmed that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.

No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 13, the report noted.

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