I am delighted to welcome Dr Fred Binka as Coordinator of WHO’s Emergency Response to Artemisinin Resistance (ERAR) hub in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
As you know, WHO has led efforts in recent years to contain the spread of artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). In view of new evidence on how artemisinin resistance appears and spreads, as well as the emergence of multi-drug resistance, WHO has called for the elimination of malaria in the GMS. Dr Binka will bring new leadership to support countries in this critical and accelerated effort.
Dr Binka is no stranger to WHO. He was a member of the initial team that developed the Roll Back Malaria initiative in 1998 and has since served on more than a dozen of the Organisation’s expert committees including, since its inception, the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee. In recent years, he was Chair of the GAVI Independent Review Committee and a board member of several international NGOs focused on malaria such as IVCC and Malaria Consortium.
Before joining WHO, Dr Binka served as Foundation Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana, a position he held from 2012 until July of this year. Previously, he served as Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Ghana. In 2002, he was a Founding Executive Director of INDEPTH Network, an international NGO focused on health and population research in 24 developing countries of Africa and Asia.
Dr Binka began his career with Ghana’s Ministry of Health where he worked for more than 20 years in a number of capacities. As a Founding Director of the internationally acclaimed Navrongo Health Research Centre, he led a team that conducted several large-scale community intervention studies in Ghana, including a randomized trial of insecticide-treated bed nets.
Dr Binka has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Basel, an MPH from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a medical degree from the University of Ghana. In recognition of his distinguished work on malaria, he was awarded the Ronald Ross Medal from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2010) and the Rudolf Geigy Award from the R. Geigy Foundation (2001). In 2015, he was the recipient of an Honorary International Fellowship from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr Binka.
Pedro L. Alonso MD
Global Malaria Programme