The GAVI Vaccine Alliance, a pivotal organization dedicated to distributing drugs in developing countries, has officially appointed Pakistani senator Sania Nishtar as its new Executive Director.

This announcement came in a statement released by GAVI Alliance.

Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, coordinating minister for the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare assumed the position of CEO in February 2023.

However, he expressed his decision to return to Nigeria to contribute to reimagining the country’s healthcare delivery system on June 26, 2023.

In response, GAVI named David Marlow as the Interim CEO while respecting Pate’s choice and reiterating their commitment to their global health mission.

The Gavi new chief

  • According to the statement, Sania Nishtar, a trained medical doctor and renowned Global Health advocate, will officially assume office on March 18, 2024, succeeding David Marlow, who has been leading the organization on a provisional basis.
  • Nishtar, with 30 years of experience in public health and medicine, has previously held significant positions in Pakistan, including Federal Minister and assistant to the Prime Minister for Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation from 2018 to 2022.
  • She has also served on the board of directors and advisory committees at GAVI. She is currently serving as a senator in Pakistan.

The statement emphasized that Nishtar’s appointment marks a significant development for GAVI in its mission to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines and drugs in developing countries.

It highlighted her extensive experience, stating that her leadership will be instrumental in advancing GAVI’s objectives and contributing positively to global health.

On his official handle, Pate congratulated Nishtar on being appointed as the next GAVI CEO, wishing her a successful tenure. He expressed Nigeria’s anticipation of working with her, Jose Barroso, the board, and all Alliance partners.

Pate outlined key areas for collaboration, including expanding routine immunization, reducing zero doses, accelerating newer vaccines, and strengthening Primary Health Care in the country.

He pledged Nigeria’s commitment to advancing Africa’s aspirations for self-sufficiency in manufacturing life-saving commodities like vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

What you should know 

  • Established 23 years ago, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance’s board includes organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, technical-scientific agencies, and governments. Philanthropic organisations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also key contributors.
  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, GAVI played a crucial role in developing the COVAX program, distributing anti-COVID vaccines, particularly in developing countries, preventing an estimated 2.7 million deaths worldwide with the distribution of two billion doses.















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