Expert on HIV/AIDS Appointed To UNITAID Advisory Group

Academy member Chinua Akukwe answers “call to duty.”

Published April 16, 2012

Chinua Akukwe, professorial lecturer in the Departments of Global Health and Prevention and Community Health in the GW School of Public Health and Health Services and former chair of the Technical Advisory Board of the GWU Africa Center for Health and Human Security, has been appointed to the independent Global Advisory Group on Funding Priorities for UNITAID. UNITAID is dedicated to scaling up access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis by leveraging price reductions for quality diagnostics and medicines and accelerating the pace at which these are made available. Since 2006, UNITAID has committed over U.S. $1.5 billion to support projects in 94 countries.

"This appointment is a call to duty during one of the most important periods in global health and financing for international development," says Akukwe. "UNITAID, with its focus on innovative mechanisms for scaling up access to medicines and other public health goods, can play a more significant role in leveraging scarce resources to reach more individuals and families in need," he adds.

Akukwe is an expert on the global response to HIV/AIDS, with a particular focus on Africa. He developed the "Communicable Diseases Guidelines" of the Africa Development Bank that established HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis as priority health conditions. He also developed the "Strategic Framework for the Implementation of Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis" for the African Union Commission, which was subsequently approved by the African Council of Health Ministers.