Congolese Doctor Jean Kaseya Appointed New Africa CDC Head
By Samuel Ouma
The African Union over the weekend appointed Dr. Jean Kaseya as the next Director General of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (AFRICACDC), an agency that aids member states in dealing with health emergencies and designing programmes to deal with public health.
Dr. Kaseya, a public health expert from the Democratic Republic of Congo, will oversee the delivery of the organisation’s core functions and key objectives in the next four years.
The agency is mandated to establish event-based surveillance to detect potential disease threats from informal, non-structured sources that often circulate outside the official health sector and assist Member States to address gaps in International Health regulation compliance.
It also supports public health emergency preparedness and response and maps the regional- and country-level hazard and risk assessments for Member States.
“The DG will also be responsible for the formulation and implementation of substantive work programs for the Regional Collaborating Centers and ensure that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion.” Stated the AU.
Dr. Kaseya succeeds Cameroonian-American virologist John Nkengasong, who has led and overseen US President Joe Biden’s Plan for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS (PEPFAR) since May 2022.
He has over 20 years of experience working with UNICEF, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization and the DRC government.
He studied at the University of Kinshasa and has a master’s degree in public health from France’s Henri Poincaré University.