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Dr. Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela

WHO Director of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)

Dr. Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela

Dr Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela is Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Until her appointment in December 2018, she was Director in the Office of the Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo where she was responsible for providing policy, managerial and diplomatic advice to the Regional Director.

Prior to joining WHO in April 2017, Dr Malecela served as the Director General of the National Institute for Medical Research, United Republic of Tanzania – the first woman to occupy this post - and as founding Director of the Tanzania Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme. She worked for 30 years at the National Institute for Medical Research starting as a junior scientist in the field of lymphatic filariasis, later focusing on immuno-epidemiology of filarial infections and ran successful programmes for lymphatic filariasis patients.

Dr Malecela holds a BSc in zoology from the University of Dar es Salaam and an Msc and PhD in parasitology from the University of London (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). She specialized in filarial immunology, specifically on filarial immune evasion mechanisms.

She has served on a number of international committees including the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, the Mectizan Expert Committee, the Trachoma Expert Committee and the advisory board of the Initiative on Public/Private Partnerships in Health (IPPPH).

Dr Malecela has been involved in a number of philanthropic organizations and has authored several publications in peer reviewed journals.

Dr Malecela also chaired the WHO Regional Programme Review Group for NTDs in Africa and was a member of WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee for Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Medicine in Need Steering Committee on Innovation, Alliance and Translation Management (MITAM).

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