By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
I’m so elated and happy for my brother and friend! I’m happy for Nigeria for choosing the best man with the pedigree, experience, knowledge and passion for the job. I’m confident he will build on the success of the outgoing Director General and bring a new vista to the Nigerian Center For Disease Control.
Ifedayo Adetifa is an Epidemiologist and Consultant Paediatrician who is currently an Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom, and Clinical Epidemiologist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kilifi, Kenya.
He is a graduate of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, and completed his specialist training in Paediatrics and Child Health at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos to become a Fellow of the West Africa College of Physicians. During residency, he also received training in infectious diseases at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, and at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.
Ifedayo moved to the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia (MRCG) in 2004 to work as a Research Clinician and later as a Clinical Epidemiologist conducting research mainly in Tuberculosis (TB) Epidemiology. There he also won a European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) Career Development Fellowship, completed an MSc in Epidemiology at the LSHTM and a PhD (also in Epidemiology) at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
He joined the LSHTM and KWTRP in 2014 and there his research on the epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases is aimed at generating evidence for policy in low- and middle-income countries particularly those of Africa. He implements disease and serological surveillance, conducts vaccine impact studies, examines approaches to monitoring vaccination, performs health economic evaluations, and complements all these with mathematical modelling. His current streams of work are focused on assessing the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduced in Nigeria in 2015, on the application of the vaccine seroepidemiology for estimating population immunity, force of infection and vaccination coverage in African settings, and COVID-19 epidemiology. He was awarded an MRC/DFID Africa Research Leader Fellowship for his vaccine seroepidemiology research in 2018.
Before this appointment, he was on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Africa Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group, Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme Advisory Group, WHO Technical Advisory Group for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccines, and on the Kenyan National Immunisation Coordinating Committee. He was a member of the WHO TB Impact Measurement Taskforce, participated in missions to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Since 2020, he has been a Commissioner for the Lancet Nigeria Commission, and the co-lead of the Commission’s Burden of Diseases Working Group.
Please join me in congratulating him and wishing him a successful and impactful tenure.