The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has sent condolences to the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the sudden death of its Executive Director For Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Dr Peter Salama.
The Founder-President of the foundation, Mrs Toyin Saraki, expressed the condolences to the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the WHO announced the sudden death of Salama on Friday, Jan. 24.
“The organisation extends its condolences to the family of the deceased, friends and colleagues,” the statement quoted Saraki as saying.
The late Salama was 51 and survived by his wife and three children.
Saraki described Salama’s demise as an immensely sad loss for the WHO family, and for the world of global health.
“Dr Salama was so generous in sharing the depth and breadth of his knowledge as we advocated to establish the essential elements for UHC in Nigeria.
“The Well-being Foundation Africa will miss him enormously, our sympathies, condolences and prayers are with his colleagues, friends and family. May his soul rest in peace,” she prayed.
NAN recalls that Dr Tedros had said that Salama was “an embodiment of everything that is best about WHO and the United Nations, including professionalism, commitment and compassion”.
Salama, a medical epidemiologist from Australia, joined WHO in 2016 as Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies programme, which he led until 2019.
Before joining WHO, he was Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at UNICEF, an organisation that he joined in 2002.
The deceased also led UNICEF’s global response to Ebola, served as its Representative in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe (2009–2015).
He was also Chief of Global Health and Principal Advisor on HIV/AIDS in New York (2004–2009), and Chief of Health and Nutrition in Afghanistan (2002–2004).
He had also worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and Concern Worldwide in several countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (NAN)