FORMER United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Zimbabwe country representative, Dr Peter Salama has died.
By Michael Gwarisa
Dr Salama was 51 and leaves behind his wife and three children. He was also the Executive Director of WHO’s Division for Universal Health Coverage – Life Course.
The World Health Organization announces with deep sadness the sudden death of Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director of WHO’s Division for Universal Health Coverage – Life Course.
In his condolence message, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom said Dr Salama’s death was a loss to global health family and WHO extends its most profound sympathies and condolences to Dr Salama’s family, friends and colleagues.
“Pete embodied everything that is best about WHO and the United Nations – professionalism, commitment and compassion, Our hearts are broken.”
Dr Salama, a medical epidemiologist from Australia, joined WHO in 2016 as Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies programme, which he led until 2019. Before joining WHO, Dr Salama was Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at UNICEF, an organization that he joined in 2002.
Dr Salama led UNICEF’s global response to Ebola, served as its Representative in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe (2009–2015), Chief of Global Health and Principal Advisor on HIV/AIDS in New York (2004–2009), and Chief of Health and Nutrition in Afghanistan (2002–2004).
He had also worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and Concern Worldwide in several countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.