News @ JSI

Folake Olayinka Joins WHO Technical Advisory Group

November 21, 2017

JSI is pleased to announce Dr. Folake Olayinka's nomination to serve on the WHO African Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) – the principal advisory group on vaccine and immunization policies and strategies to the WHO Regional Office for Africa. She is currently JSI’s Immunization Team Lead on USAID’s Maternal Child Survival Program.

“I am excited to join RITAG and work alongside others to ‘bend the arc’ in immunization by bringing grounded field perspectives, greater focus on a continuum of care, integration, user centered approaches and expanded partnerships,” said Dr. Olayinka. “Moving the needle on immunization in the region to achieve and sustain high immunization rates is a cornerstone of universal health coverage and will require an expanded view point and linkages beyond immunization - I aim to bring that to the table.”

The RITAG advises the WHO regional director on regional policies and strategies, ranging from vaccine and technology research and development, to delivery of immunization services and linkages between immunization and other health interventions. These activities also include a focus on childhood vaccines and immunization as well as the control of all vaccine-preventable diseases as part of an integrated, people centered platform of disease prevention within the context of health systems strengthening.

Dr. Olayinka has more than 20 years of expertise in routine immunization systems strengthening. She also has implementation experience in disease control and eradication initiatives such as malaria and polio.

“As a long-time JSI staff member, Dr. Olayinka brings a deep understanding of operationalizing immunization systems strengthening within a primary health care platform and a well-rounded perspective on integrating health interventions,” said Dr. Robert Steinglass, director of JSI’s Immunization Center. “Her field experience in program management, policy formulation, program design, monitoring and learning, planning and implementation will contribute greatly to the essential normative role that RITAG plays to guide African countries on immunization.”

RITAG members are appointed by the regional director, based on the recommendation of a selection panel. Learn more about RITAG and JSI's Immunization technical expertise.