US Appoints New Disease Control Director For Nigeria

A file photo of Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, who was announced as the new Country Director for the US Centres for Disease Control on April 20, 2021. Credit: US Mission in Nigeria.
A file photo of Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, who was announced as the new Country Director for the US Centres for Disease Control on April 20, 2021. Credit: US Mission in Nigeria.

 

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Nigeria on Tuesday said it has now come under fresh leadership with the appointment of Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, as the new Country Director.

This was contained in a statement obtained from the United States Mission in Abuja.

The CDC, headquartered in Atalanta, is the national public health agency of the US.

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Its Nigerian office was established in 2001 and housed on the US Embassy compound in Abuja.

It aims to achieve “’Public Health Excellence for Healthy Nigerians’ by working closely with the Government of Nigeria, local implementing partners, and other agencies of the U.S. Government and, collaboratively, strengthening Nigeria’s public health infrastructure through various public health programs and initiatives,” a statement from the US Mission in Nigeria’s website reads.

According to Tuesday’s statement, “in her new role, Dr. Boyd will lead the Nigeria office, which is one of CDC’s largest country offices, and support CDC’s collective efforts in global HIV and Tuberculosis, global health security, malaria elimination, and immunization.

“She joined CDC in the CDC Zambia country office, where she first served as Deputy Associate Director for Programs (2016-2018) and then as Senior Medical Advisor (2018-2020). While in Zambia, Dr. Boyd’s accomplishments included: leading the Antiretroviral Treatment Surge campaign; establishing the Zambia National HIV Clinical Mentorship program; and directing the first regional COVID-19 response ECHO community of practice in Southern Africa and West Africa.

“Dr. Boyd is a trained vaccinologist and conducted vaccine trials for influenza A (H1N1), live oral Shigella, Vibrio cholera, and Salmonella vaccine candidates from 2009-2013 at the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development. She subsequently joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she led global health vaccine efforts, including for Ebola, from 2013-2016.

“Commander Dr. Boyd is an active duty physician in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and currently performs clinical practice at the U.S. Embassy Abuja Health Unit. She received her undergraduate degree in neurobiology and physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed her medical degree, residency, and fellowship in pediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

“Since October 2020, Dr. Boyd has served as Senior Advisor for HIV and TB Prevention for CDC Nigeria as a regional and international expert on HIV and TB prevention. She takes over from Dr. Omotayo Bolu who acted as Country Director since the end of the tenure of the former Director, Dr. Mahesh Swaminathan.”

Ebola Containment: Nigeria Receives World Bank Commendation

World BankNigeria has clearly overcome Ebola virus disease and for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), this is a commendable feat.

President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, after a special meeting of the group and the IMF, said Nigeria has demonstrated high competence in the way the Ebola Containment was handled.

He praised the federal, state and local government and all medical workers and the private sector for working together to contain the Ebola virus in the country.

The meeting of the World Bank and IMF, which held in Washington on Thursday morning, noted sadly that the virus continues to surge in the three worst affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

If more countries get trapped in the spread within two years, the financial impact could reach 32.6 billion dollars by the end of 2015.

The United Nations Ebola response coordinator, Dr. David Nabarro, has said that the worst outbreak of Ebola on record can be contained if countries quickly build and staff treatment centers in West African nations hardest hit by the deadly virus.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said Ebola had claimed the lives of 3,879 people from among 8,033 confirmed, probable and suspected cases since it was identified in Guinea in March.

Officials with the U.S. Center for Disease Control were dispatched to study how Nigeria achieved its Ebola containment after the United States reported that Ebola had been discovered in Dallas, Texas.

The CDC Director, Tom Frieden, said in a statement, “It’s clear the nation (US) needs a quick and thorough response to its first Ebola patient” noting that “their (Nigeria’s) extensive response to a single case of Ebola shows that control is possible with rapid, focused interventions.”

Nigeria has not reported new cases since August 31. Likewise, Senegal has not reported any new Ebola cases since September 18.

According to the CDC, Nigeria reported their first case July 20 when Patrick Sawyer traveled from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria. He exposed 72 other passengers with the virus. Nigerian health officials found everyone who had been in contact with Sawyer and developed a mobilization plan.

They reached more than 26,000 households in this process. Nigeria also established the Ebola Management Center in the process.