Uche Amazigo

Director, African Program for Onchocerciasis Control,
World Health Organization

Dr. Uche Veronica Amazigo is an experienced international scientist and administrator, with extensive expertise in international and community health, public-private partnership, research and policy and strategy development.

Trained in public health and parasitology, specializing in tropical diseases and reproductive health, Dr. Amazigo was formerly senior lecturer in medical parasitology and public health at the University of Nigeria. Her research experience encompasses adolescent reproductive health, strategies for controlling neglected tropical diseases and community-directed health interventions (CDI). Her interest in gender and onchocerciasis (river blindness) led to her pioneering research that formed the scientific basis for establishing APOC in 1995, succeeding the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa.

APOC coordinates community-directed treatment with ivermectin—the CDI strategy—in 19 African countries, with the objective of establishing a community-driven, sustainable program to ensure that river blindness ceases to be a public health problem in Africa.

With more than 25 years of experience in research and teaching, Dr. Amazigo has held strategic management positions at international and national levels. Her distinguished career culminated in her appointment as APOC Director in 2005. Currently, she is engaging 117,000 communities, 19 African governments, 14 civil societies and numerous donors using community participation to bring multiple health interventions to areas beyond the reach of health care services in stable and fragile countries. She has over 60 publications. Her legacy will be empowerment of communities to take charge of their own health, thus improving their wellbeing.