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Dr. Abba Umar Joins MAPS as Newly Appointed Chief of Party

The MAPS Project is pleased to welcome Dr. Abba Zakari Umar as its newly appointed Chief of Party (COP) in Nigeria, effective September 1, 2011. Dr. Abba replaces Dr. Olufemi Oke, who tragically and suddenly passed away earlier this year.

Prior to joining FHI 360, Dr. Abba served as Head of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Northern Nigeria, overseeing the entire portfolio of DFID's development assistance in the north of Africa's most populous country.

Dr. Abba has overseen and provided technical and management assistance on a variety of health and development projects from the perspective of a donor, multilateral technical agency, NGO implementer, and as a public health official. During his esteemed career, Dr. Abba spent over 10 years working with the Jigawa State Ministry of Health, including having served as Health Commissioner in his native state of Jigawa. He also served as Chief of Party for a large EU-funded immunization project spanning 23 Nigerian states managed by the German-based firm EPOS Health Management. In doing so, he has demonstrated the ability to successfully engage multiple stakeholders at all levels of program design and implementation as well as integrate various health and development interventions. He is highly regarded by colleagues in his capacity as a leader/manager, capacity builder, and as a public health specialist.

In welcoming Dr. Abba aboard, FHI 360's Vice President and Director for the Center for Private Sector Health Initiatives, David Greeley, commented, "We are honoured and privileged to have someone of the calibre of Dr. Abba to assume the leadership role for the MAPS project. This is one of the most important projects in our organization's portfolio, and is critically important to the Government of Nigeria and to USAID in its efforts to reduce death and disability caused by malaria. I can think of no better person than Dr. Abba to serve as the MAPS COP."

Dr. Abba holds a Masters Degree in Infections and Health in the Tropics (MSc) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Post Graduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Royal College of Physicians of London, and a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria obtained over 21 years ago. Dr. Abba can be contacted at

Posted September 2011

Read more about the Malaria Action Program for States (MAPS) project