Dr Muhammad Ali Pate is a distinguished abusite and accomplished health personnel who is the Global Director for Health, Nutrition, and Population at the World Bank Group and Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents (GFF). He is a former Minister of Health in Nigeria,
He was a Julio Frenk Professor of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts and a member of the agenda committee of the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Pate served as a Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2016. He taught a course in the Department of Global Health and Population called, “Leadership Development in Global Health: Building Community Trust Networks.”
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate’s Early life & Education
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate was born on 6 September 1968 in the Misau local government area of Bauchi State in Nigeria. He is the son of a Fulani herdsman. The first in his family to complete secondary school education, Dr. Pate graduated from secondary school to enter the great Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria where he studied Medicine (MBBS).
He went on to complete his residency at Howard University Hospital, DC General Hospital Greater South East Community Hospital, Washington, DC, July 1995 – July 1998 and the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA, July 1998 – July 2000.
Dr. Pate is an American Board-Certified MD in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, with an MBA (Health Sector Concentration) from Duke University, Durham, NC (USA), June 2006
Prior to this he studied at the University College London. He also has a Master of Science (MSc.) in Health Systems Management, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, August 2000
After graduating from ABU Zaria in 1990, he moved to The Gambia where he worked as Medical Officer, British Medical Research Council Laboratories, Fajara, The Gambia, from February 1993 – June 1995.
Prior to his appointment to the NPHCDA in 2008, Dr. Pate had an extensive career spanning over 10 years at the World Bank in Washington DC and held several senior positions including Senior Health Specialist and Human Development Sector Coordinator for the East Asia/Pacific Region and Senior Health Specialist for the African Region.
While at the World Bank, a major project led by Dr Muhammad Ali Pate was the far-reaching health sector reform programs in Africa, East Asia, and other regions of the World Bank. Of note is his initiation of landmark Public Private Partnership to replace a National Referral Hospital in Lesotho, Africa. Dr. Pate was also awarded the prestigious Harvard Health Leader award of 2012.
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate was appointed to run the NPHCDA at the peak of the polio epidemic crisis in Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the four PAIN countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria – where polio still exists and can thus be transmitted to other countries.
Poliomyelities can be prevented through multiple immunisation with the polio vaccine. Receiving a minimum of four doses of the vaccine almost certainly provides lifelong immunity in children.
In June 2009 Dr. Pate instigated a policy of engaging respected traditional rulers in the north under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto to help deliver the immunisation programme message, along with the development of an effective primary health care system which had failed in the previous decade.
This was because in Nigeria the wild poliovirus WPV is mainly prevalent in the northern part of the country. The cases of WPV reduced from 803 at the end of 2008 to only 11 cases in 2010.
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate led the development of a transformation agenda for the NPHCDA, dealing with outstanding issues following its merger with the old NPI (National Programme on Immunisation). This involved core diagnostics, systems development, and human resources capacity development within the Agency.
He identified the key failings in the healthcare system as structural constraint, fiscal decentralization, the mismatched burden of disease and low-quality spending, poor and inequitable intermediate and long-term health outcomes, the multiplicity of vertical initiatives, fragmented, inefficient service delivery, dilapidated health infrastructure, lack of skilled manpower in the frontlines; basic drugs and supplies and inadequate financial protection.
He has implemented innovative strategies including the training of middle level management for primary health care and collaboration with the private sector through public private partnerships.
He has facilitated the introduction of new vaccines to improve routine immunization; and engaged with the governors and local government agencies to ensure improvements in Primary Health Care. Furthermore, Dr. Pate pushed the agenda for decentralization and integration and has improved the quality and quantity of human resources at the frontlines.
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate also pioneered the implementation of a national Midwives’ Service Scheme (MSS) to address the high maternal and child morbidity and mortality. The scheme is designed to mobilise midwives to selected primary health care facilities in rural communities to facilitate increase in skilled birth attendance and delivery of services.
The MSS uses a cluster model of a hub and spoke arrangement in which four selected primary health care facilities with the capacity to provide Basic Essential Obstetric Care (BEOC) are clustered around a General Hospital with the capacity to provide Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care (CEOC) and which serves as a referral facility.
The scheme has mobilized a total of 4000 midwives covered 1,000 PHC facilities and 400 general hospitals in the last 12 months. The MSS is also a vehicle for the development of mHealth. Dedicated mobile phones are provided to all participating PHCs in the scheme, while fixed post-internet telephony and video conference facilities have been deployed to a subset of facilities in the scheme.
Minister of Health
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate is also a former Minister of Health in Nigeria. His appointment in July 2011 follows his success as the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in Abuja, Nigeria. He resigned as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health effective 24 July 2013 to take up the position of Professor in Duke University’s Global Health Institute, USA.
The Big Win Philanthropy
Dr. Pate also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Big Win Philanthropy, an independent foundation that invests in children and young people in developing countries to improve their lives and to maximize demographic dividends for long term economic growth. Big Win Philanthropy partners with leaders who have a stake in the outcome to achieve transformational change.
He has served on several national and international expert panels, including the Pacific Health Summit 2011, Seattle WA, USA, First WHO Health Systems Research Forum, Montreux, Switzerland 2009, Mckinsey’s Geneva Health Forum 2009, Switzerland, Ernst Strungman Forum, Frankfurt, Germany 2010 and China-Africa Roundtable for Health 2010.
He is also a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Steering Committee on Assessment of Impact of Polio Eradication on Routine Immunisation and a reviewer for OECD HQ Paris, Innovative Financing for Development 2010.
Dr Muhammad Ali Pate is married with four daughters and two sons and resides in northern Virginia. He holds the chieftaincy title of “Chigarin Misau“.