Meet Rana A. Hajjeh, Member of the Virchow Foundation for Global Health Council
Dr Hajjeh is a senior public health leader with 25 years of experience in global health, health policy and diplomacy, and health management, especially in the Middle East Region. Since 2019, Dr Hajjeh serves as the Director of Programme Management at the World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (WHO/EMRO). Prior to this role, she held the position of the Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control. Prior to joining WHO/EMRO in 2016, Dr Hajjeh worked with the United States Centers for Disease Prevention and Control for 23 years. Dr Hajjeh is motivated to join the Council to bring more visibility to global health priorities.
From your perspective, why is engagement and awareness raising for global health important?
It is critical to get more commitment from all key stakeholders including governments, partners, people and communities. With Covid-19 in particular, but for many other important cross cutting public health issues, such as infectious diseases and environmental health, it has become very clear that “no one is safe until everyone is safe”. Better awareness of global health issues will be critical to ensure more support at all levels for the important issues that affect us all, more resources and capacity building, and more accountability.
How are you committed to engaging in global health topics within your current professional role and activities?
As part of my role as senior WHO official, and as overseeing all technical health issues in the region, I am responsible for ensuring we focus on implementing the many global health strategies, closely monitoring and seeing results at country level. I am also engaged in the development of many of these policies, supporting countries, and advocating for the importance of stronger global health systems and platforms.
How do you hope to achieve greater awareness and engagement for global health in your new role at the Virchow Foundation for Global Health? How can the Virchow Prize for Global Health help to increase awareness?
In my role with the foundation, I would like to bring more awareness of global health priorities from the WHO overall and especially regional perspectives, and a better sense of real challenges on the ground, as well as what is currently done and being achieved, so we don’t duplicate efforts. I think the Virchow prize will bring important visibility to global health and hopefully motivate further achievements in this area as well.
Find out more on the Virchow Foundation for Global Health Council and its Members here: https://virchowprize.org/council/