The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Jeremy Farrar will become its new chief scientist.
Currently director of the Wellcome Trust, Farrar will join WHO in the second quarter of 2023, replacing Soumya Swaminathan.
“As WHO’s chief scientist, Dr Farrar will oversee the science division, bringing together the best brains in science and innovation from around the world to develop and deliver high quality health services to the people who need them most, no matter who they are and where they live,” WHO said in a statement on Tuesday.
Farrar is a clinician scientist who, before joining Wellcome in 2013, spent 17 years as director of the clinical research unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Viet Nam where his research interests were in global health with a focus on emerging infectious diseases.
He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK, European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the National Academies USA and a Fellow of The Royal Society.
Also, Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu will become WHO's chief nursing officer. Previously minister for health of the Kingdom of Tonga, and before that Tonga’s chief nursing officer, Tuipulotu will join WHO in the first quarter of 2023.
"As WHO’s chief nursing officer, Tuipulotu will champion, nurture and support nurses and midwives to ensure that their skills and experience are being well-utilised to strengthen health systems and to bolster their critical role in bringing patients, communities and national health systems closer together," the statement said.
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In 2019 Tuipulotu became the Kingdom of Tonga’s first female minister for health, serving until December 2021. From 2014 to 2019, she served as Tonga’s chief nursing officer. Previously, she was director of nursing at Vaiola Hospital, the country’s main referral hospital. She was the first Tongan to receive a PhD in nursing. In 2019, she was appointed honorary adjunct associate professor at the University of Sydney.
From May 2020 to December 2022, Tuipulotu was a member of the WHO executive board; she was elected EB Rapporteur in 2020.
“I am delighted that Jeremy and Amelia will join WHO at a critical time in global public health when investment in both the health workforce and science is imperative to strengthening health systems and outbreak preparedness and prevention. As chief scientist, Jeremy will accelerate our efforts to ensure WHO, its member states and our partners benefit from cutting-edge, life-saving science and innovations. As chief nursing officer, Amelia will ignite the all-important need not only to fill the gap in health workers worldwide but also to ensure they receive the support they need and deserve," said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.