Tackling deadly diseases in Africa is a flagship programme of the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The programme is funded by UK aid and led by DAI Global Health.
Programme Management Team
Jeffrey Mecaskey, FFPH - Team Leader
Jeffrey Mecaskey has more than 35 years’ experience in health and political economics, health policy, and management. Jeffrey has consulted and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. He has led major research programmes related to results-based financing, global health security, and the role of non-state actors in global health. Previous roles include: Senior Advisor to EU-SIGN, strengthening health sector governance in Nigeria; Head of Health for Save the Children UK; and, Managing Director of Health Partners International. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. His qualifications include a D.S. in Health Economics and an M.S. in Health Policy and Management, both from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Elodie Brandamir - Deputy Team Leader
Elodie Brandamir has 15 years’ experience managing public health programmes in challenging environments. She has implemented complex, multi-donor consortia programmes, often in fragile and conflict-affected states. Through her work, Elodie has engaged directly with the most vulnerable people such as homeless youth in the United Kingdom, Tibetan refugees in Nepal, and African sex workers, giving her an in-depth understanding of the complexity of working toward health equality and global health security. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, an M.A. in Development Economics and an M.Phil. in Emergency Relief and Development Action.
TDDA works through experts on the ground who provide technical assistance in each of our six focus countries. Their role combines technical, managerial and operational responsibilities. They also liaise with national stakeholders including WHO/AFRO, Ministries of Health, and civil society organisations, working collaboratively to achieve our shared goals.
Prof. Omer Njajou
Country Coordinator – Cameroon
Prof. Omer Njajou is an expert epidemiologist who joined the Tackling deadly diseases in Africa programme in January 2020 to coordinate our work that is saving lives in Cameroon. Previously, Omer worked for the University of Minnesota on the USAID-One Health project, taking a holistic approach to human, animal and environmental health. He was the Senior Technical Lead on the project as well as Coordinator for Francophone Africa. Omer is experienced in designing, conducting and analysing epidemiological studies, including environmental studies and clinical research. Omer is a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and has taught public health, epidemiology, biostatistics and research methodology in several universities across the globe. His qualifications include a PhD in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, a DSc in Genetic Epidemiology and a Master's in Medical Parasitology & Entomology from the University of Jos, Nigeria.
Dr. Dabsou Guidaoussou
Country Coordinator – Chad
Dr. Dabsou Guidaoussou provides technical expertise and coordinates our vital work on the ground in Chad. He is a Chad national who has served as a consultant on several national epidemic disease and surveillance studies. These include three assessments of emergency obstetric and neonatal care needs, evaluations of programs and projects, and the determination of alert thresholds and malaria epidemics in the Sahelian region of Chad, as well as the development of multiple national strategic program plans. Deeply connected to key stakeholders in the country for nearly a decade, Dabsou has worked with a range of multilateral donors including the World Health Organisation, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, UNAIDS, Expertise-France, Gavi, and the Global Fund, conducting evaluations and assessments of national health sector capacity in Chad. He previously served as the Director of Statistics and Health Information for the Chadian Government’s Ministry of Public Health. Dabsou’s network of strategic relationships is highly valuable as we work to coordinate with government ministries and civil society organisations in Chad, to bring a sharp focus on shared goals for health security.
Dr. Souleymane Diarra
Country Coordinator – Mali
Dr. Souleymane Diarra is a public health expert who joined the TDDA programme in 2020 as country coordinator for Mali. He brings a wealth of expertise covering fields including epidemiology and management of public health emergencies. Before joining TDDA, Souleymane taught at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology in Bamako. Prior to this, he held the position of technical coordinator of the Action Program for the Global Health Security Agenda in Mali (GHSA) and of the One Health National Platform. In this role amongst other responsibilities he fostered exchange and collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders, from civil society to government and international organisations in support of IHR adherence in Mali. Souleymane has also worked as a consultant within civil society organisations partnering with the Malian health ministry to reinforce the health system. He brings with him a strong network of health security stakeholders both nationally and at the regional level.
Dr. Aristide Dionkounda
Country Coordinator - Côte d’Ivoire
Dr. Aristide Dionkounda is an Ivorian national and medical doctor. He has a wealth of experience in delivering health security programmes and extensive network of strategic relationships that bolster our work to tackle deadly diseases in Côte d’Ivoire. Before joining TDDA in June 2019, Aristide served as HIV Advisor to the Johns Hopkins University Centre of Communication Programs. There, he led the development and implementation of all activities of the HIV component of the USAID Breakthrough ACTION Project. In this role, he provided technical, programmatic and administrative assistance to programmes and helped develop strategic partnerships. He also coordinated the health component of a regional project financed by the Global Fund, establishing a continuum of care for mobile populations infected by HIV in the health facilities along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. In the field of health security, Aristide was the Country Coordinator for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT Project, coordinating and overseeing all project implementation in Côte d’Ivoire. He was responsible for field operations and reference laboratory activities within the framework of the Global Health Security Agenda.
Dr. Goni Alassan Bachir
Country Coordinator – Niger
Dr. Goni Alassan Bachir is a medical doctor and malariologist specialised in Biostatistics and Health Research. Since 2020 he has led the Niger country team of Tackling deadly diseases in Africa, bringing his wide-ranging experience which includes field research, teaching, medical practice and administration. Goni has strong connections with institutional and civil society stakeholders in Niger. He has participated in numerous supervisory missions for activities focusing on, amongst other areas, malnutrition in children. Before joining TDDA, Goni held various key posts in the public health sector, including hospital director in the N’guigmi/Diffa health district and deputy chief medical officer of Tessaoua/Maradi health district. He also taught for many years at the Université Abdou Moumouni in Niamey.
Dr. Winyi Kaboyo
Country Coordinator – Uganda
Dr. Winyi Kaboyo leads our work tackling deadly diseases in Uganda. He is a Ugandan national with more than thirty years’ experience as a veterinary epidemiologist and public health specialist, specializing in zoonotic infectious diseases. Winyi joined the Tackling deadly diseases in Africa programme from his previous role as National One Health Technical Advisor for the Preparedness & Response project in Uganda, funded by the US Agency for International Development and led by DAI. In this role, he implemented work to oversee and coordinate country-wide activities to strengthen the One Health approach as well as infectious disease preparedness and response. He previously worked for Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture and later Ministry of Health, serving as Acting Commissioner of the Community Health Department as well as Assistant Commissioner of Veterinary Public Health. Winyi holds a Master's in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor's in veterinary medicine from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.