The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) has named Dr Anarfi Asamoah-Baah as a Public Health Champion in recognition of his outstanding contribution to global public health.
The award was conferred on Dr Asamoah-Baah and other public health figures at the WHO 75 anniversary awards held at the margins of the 73rd WHO Regional Committee for Africa Meeting held in Gaborone, Botswana.
“This award is in recognition of your outstanding service to public health and promotion of the wellbeing of the people of the people of Africa,” reads the citation presented to Dr Asamoah-Baah by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.
On his part, Dr Asamoah described WHO as a force for good and express his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the organization for many years.
“I am grateful to WHO Regional Office for Africa for this recognition and appreciation. I am happy that WHO is recognizing the role of member states and staff as we celebrate WHO at 75,” he stated.
Dr Asamoah-Baah is a Ghanaian public health professional who joined WHO in 1998 and served the global public health for 19years, rising to become the Deputy Director-General of WHO in 2007 until his retirement in 2017.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the 2005 International Health Regulations and the raising of Global Visibility for Neglected Tropical Diseases. Other notable achievements of Dr Asamoah-Baah include revitalization of Primary Healthcare; the establishment of the Pre-qualification programme as part of the WHO Essential Medicines Programme and the development of the first Global Strategy for Traditional Medicine.
“Dr Asamoah-Baah is a distinguished global public health expert who truly deserved this recognition,” says the WHO Representative to Ghana, Prof Francis Kasolo. “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.”
In 2020, Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo appointed Dr Asamoah- Baah as the Presidential Coordinator for the government’s Covid 19 Response Programme, where he was responsible for coordinating all aspects of Ghana’s response. Post Covid 19 pandemic, Dr Asamoa-Baah was recently appointed the chair of the national vaccine institute of Ghana and the interim head of the Ghana Health Security Center.
Dr Asamoah- Baah received the award alongside the former President of Botswana, H.E Festus Mogae and former Regional Directors of WHO in the Africa Region.