2017 Tutu Fellow Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba has been named Vice Minister of Health and Social Welfare for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. He leaves Marathon Oil, where he was leading a project to prevent malaria. News of the change of responsibilities was made by the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Marathon Oil, Carl Maas.
He said he had mixed emotions about Mitoha leaving: "The appointment is a great honor and reflects Mitoha’s dedication and hard work to advance the malaria control and vaccine projects." However, he expects Mitoha would play an important role in advancing the mission of public health in his country. The oil company promised its support for Mitoha in his new role.
Mitoha had been leading FDA approved clinical trials into vaccination and other controls on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Two long term anti-malaria control projects are being tested on the island. The work he has done has been recognised by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in a paper one the double-blind trial. The series of FDA clinical trials and scientific research capacity-building efforts are transforming Equatorial Guinea into a proving ground for a vaccine that could accelerate the world's elimination of malaria. An effective vaccine would be a game-changer. There is more here on the AFLI website on Mitoha's efforts in this field.