Prof. Jason M. Mwenda

Prof Jason M. Mwenda is currently the Regional Co-ordinator responsible for co-ordinating surveillance for Vaccine Preventable Diseases in the WHO Region Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.  As part of his responsibilities, he co-ordinates among others hospital-based surveillance for diarrheal diseases, invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) and provides guidance to countries in the African Region to use  evidence to support  decision-making on new vaccines introduction and monitoring impact of new vaccines including rotavirus vaccines, PCV and COVID-19 vaccines.

These activities involve working closely with national Governments and key immunization partners to support introduction of new vaccines into national routine immunization programs. These efforts have resulted in 40 out of 47 countries in the WHO African Region introducing PCV in the national immunization programs, while 38 out of 47 countries in WHO/AFRO have introduced rotavirus vaccines.

A number of these countries are now using established regional sentinel hospital-based surveillance system to evaluate the impact of rotavirus vaccines and also PCV on meningitis and pneumonia hospitalizations including the safety signals during the malaria vaccine implementation project (MVIP).

He has published 274 scientific publications in peer international peer reviewed journals, contributed to several book chapters, has been guest editor for several journals. He has co-ordinated publication of six special journal supplements on Rotavirus disease burden and impact of rotavirus and pneumococci conjugate Vaccines (PCV) vaccination in Africa including a journal supplement “Early Impact of pneumococci conjugate Vaccines (PCV) in Africa, Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID), 15 September 2019.

Prof Mwenda is currently co-ordinating monitoring of vaccine effectiveness (AFRO-MoVE), recently established network comprising of 19 countries conducting COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies and genomic surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 variants as part of COVID-19 pandemic response.

Prof Mwenda was awarded Ph.D. (Immunology and Virology) degree by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool, UK in 1993. He has been awarded several honors and awards in recognition of his immense contribution to health research and development and capacity building activities including public health research, training and teaching and mentoring young scientists with a focus prevention and control of infectious diseases in Africa. He also has mentored and supervised many cadres of postgraduates including PhDs, post-doctoral students and facilitating international students exchange.

Prior to joining WHO Prof Mwenda was involved in health research for over 25 years, has worked in various capacities and leading various institutions in different countries including Kenya, UK, Japan, Italy and USA in the area of vaccine research and development, immunogenetics, control and prevention of infectious diseases. 

Prof Mwenda has undertaken many strategic and change management courses and serves in various international advisory bodies and provides technical and policy guidance on vaccine implementation and policy, strategic development and management of health research globally and working with development partners, national governments and institutions in the African Region.