Dr Chukwuemeka Agbo, a polio champion passes on

Our sincerest condolences for the loss

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden and tragic passing of Dr Chukwuemeka Agbo, Polio Technical Officer, on Sunday, 9 June 2024, in Amman, Jordan.

Known by colleagues and friends as Emeka, 45, was a valued member of the WHO workforce for the last ten years, supporting immunization, polio eradication, and Ebola outbreak response in the African and Eastern Mediterranean regions.

Emeka had recently joined the Polio Eradication team in Amman and in a short time made important contributions as the Regional Incident Support Manager for response to polio outbreaks in Sudan and Djibouti.

Prior to joining the Polio Eradication Programme in Amman, Emeka served as the GPEI Coordinator for Kenya where he managed the response to cholera and polio outbreaks.  From February 2022 to December 2023, he served as the GPEI Coordinator in Malawi where he led the outbreak responses to the importation of wild poliovirus type 1, measles and cholera.  Over a period of 10 years serving WHO and the Gates Foundation, Emeka successfully led large scale responses to disease outbreaks in the Horn of Africa.

Prior to joining WHO, Emeka worked in the private sector and with a non-profit organization as a medical officer in the Netherlands and Nigeria.

Colleagues across the Organization who have worked with him describe him as humble, energetic, considerate, kind and passionate about his work and a star performer.  Emeka saw the work he did as a service.  He lived and breathed WHO’s values, serving communities facing complex health and humanitarian crises with compassion.  During his short time in Amman, he made deep connections with his colleagues who will miss him dearly.

Emeka is survived by his wife and three children who he loved dearly.

We are in touch with his family and are extending the deepest condolences from the entire WHO family.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General and Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean

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