Raj Panjabi Appointed to Lead US President’s Malaria Initiative

Panjabi led ‘Last Mile Health’ to support governments in Africa to train health workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr Raj Panjabi.
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US President Joe Biden has appointed Indian-origin public health professional Raj Panjabi to head his Malaria Initiative working mainly in African and Asian countries.

Taking to the social media platform, Twitter, Panjabi said he is honoured and ‘grateful for this chance to serve’. He also wrote about the mission to eliminate Malaria and about his family, who fled Liberia during the civil war and arrived in the US as refugees during the 1990s, in a series of tweets.

Being a public health professional, who has taken care of patients with staffers of the President’s Malaria Initiative, as well as its partners the USAID and the Centre for Disease Control, Panjabi added, “I’ve been inspired by how they’ve responded to fight malaria, one of the oldest and deadliest pandemics, and saved lives around the world.”

He also expressed that his mission to fight malaria is a personal one as he saw his grandparents and parents infected with the disease when they lived in India. He fell sick with the disease himself in Liberia, and saw it take many lives as a doctor in Africa, he continued.

Panjabi led the ‘Last Mile Health’ to support administrations in Africa to train frontline health workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, made significant contributions in the fight against the 2013-16 West Africa Ebola epidemic and has served as the advisor to former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the co-chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response at the WHO, PTI noted.

Raj Panjabi’s appointment comes among the various appointments of Indian-American health professionals, including Dr Vivek Murthy, in Joe Biden’s administration.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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