A passionate advocate for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa, Dr Githinji Gitahi joined Amref Health Africa as the Global Chief Executive Officer in June 2015. Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa-based international health and development organisation providing training and health services to over 20 million people annually in at least 35 countries in Africa.
Until his appointment to Amref Health Africa, Dr Gitahi was the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, Smile Train International. Prior to that, Dr Gitahi was Managing Director for Monitor Publications in Uganda as well as General Manager for Marketing and Circulation in East Africa for the Nation Media Group. He held progressively senior positions at GlaxoSmithKline and worked at the Avenue Group.
Dr Gitahi is the Co-Chair of the Strategic Advocacy Committee for PMNCH and a member of the African Union Commission on Africa’s COVID-19 Response. He also serves in various Boards, notably – Governing Board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Board of Directors of the Standard Group in Kenya and Board of Trustees of Safaricom Foundation. In June 2023, Dr Gitahi was appointed by the UN Secretary General as a member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Lead Group – a global initiative dedicated to eradicating all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
Previously, he served on the Governing Board of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and co-chaired the UHC2030 Steering Committee, a World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) initiative for UHC. His engagement with UHC continues and earlier this year, he chaired a UN multi-stakeholder hearing in New York, NY, USA, ahead of the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC in September, 2023.
In December 2018, Dr. Gitahi was bestowed the 2018 ‘Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear’ (MBS) by the President of Kenya, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to the health sector.
Dr Gitahi holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University of Nairobi, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the United States International University, as well as a Certificate for Strategic Perspectives for Non-profit Management from Harvard University.