29th January 2018

Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2018 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives and increasing access to immunisation in the poorest countries announced yesterday the appointment of Dr. Awele Elumelu as Champion for Immunisation in Africa.
Dr. Elumelu, a general physician, is a Trustee of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

A leading voice in the African healthcare sector, Dr. Elumelu is the Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Limited and CEO Avon Medical Practice. She leads the healthcare investments of African proprietary investment group Heirs Holdings. As a Gavi champion, she will lend her voice and network to raise awareness about the importance of immunisation in Africa, ensuring that even more children have access to immunisation, creating life changing interventions.

The announcement was made at the breakfast meeting of leaders from the private sector and Ministerial representatives from the donor countries, hosted by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on 25 January.  “We are delighted that Dr Elumelu will bring her knowledge and expertise from health and business sectors towards championing the cause of immunisation.  Her engagement will be particularly important this year, as we move towards the Mid-Term Review, where the Vaccine Alliance will report on progress made in reaching its goals halfway through our five-year strategy.”, said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “We are looking forward to working closely with Dr Elumelu to help make immunisation a priority for Africa’s public and private sector leaders”, he added.

Dr. Elumelu thanked Gavi for the privilege of lending her voice to championing the cause of immunisation that will impact lives of children across Africa. “Childhood immunisation is a critical intervention and I am honoured to play a role in this important programme, targeting almost 10 million African children, who are not fully immunised. Gavi’s unique approach of bringing together public and private players, is an example to us all and, not least in Africa, where governments and the private sector need to work much more closely together, to deliver economic opportunity and social good.  I would also salute the extraordinary example of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in catalysing this initiative – it is an illustration of how intelligently directed private wealth can achieve innovative and tangible impact on huge scale”, said Dr Elumelu.


In addition, Mr Tony Elumelu also announced the partnership between the United Bank of Africa and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to generate demand and awareness. Another aspect of the partnership will include fundraising from Bank’s customers to support immunisation programmes in Africa. He also announced the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s partnership with Gavi where over 3,000 entrepreneurs across Africa will act as ‘immunisation advocates’ in communities. The total number of entrepreneurs supported by the Tony Elumelu Foundation would reach 10,000 over the next six years.


Other guests and speakers present at the breakfast included Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, United Arab Emirates; Maryam Mosef, Minister of Status of Women, Canada; Saira Afzal Tarar, Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Pakistan; Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Pakistan; Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa Plc; among other public and private sector leaders from around the world.


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