H.E. Toyin Saraki, Founder-President of Nigeria’s Wellbeing Foundation Africa has expressed sincere condolences to the World Health Organisation Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, on the sudden death of Dr Peter Salama, WHO Executive Director For Universal Health Coverage – Life Course which was announced on Friday January,24, 2020
In a statement released on January 25, 2020, Mrs. Saraki stated:
“I am deeply saddened to receive The World Health Organization announcement of the sudden death of Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director of WHO’s Division for Universal Health Coverage – Life Course.”
“I and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa extend our most profound sympathies and condolences to the WHO and Dr Salama’s family, friends and colleagues. He was 51 and leaves behind his wife and three children.”
“Pete embodied everything that is best about WHO and the United Nations – professionalism, commitment and compassion,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Our hearts are broken.”
Dr 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, Dr Salama was Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at UNICEF, an organization that he joined in 2002.
Dr Salama led UNICEF’s global response to Ebola, served as its Representative in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe (2009–2015), 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
Mrs Saraki, Devex Universal Health Coverage Champion and a Special Adviser to the WHO Africa Region Office’s Independent Advisory Group concluded her condolence tribute to Dr Salama thus:
“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 Universal Health Coverage 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. Amen”