A new Director of Health, Dr Akeem Ali, will arrive on-Island in April 2017 to succeed Darren Clarke who has now completed his contract and returned to Australia.
Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, said:
“I am grateful to Darren for the work that he has done in the Health Directorate over the past two years and for his support to me personally. There is no doubt that the services we provide in the Health Directorate have improved enormously under Darren’s direction. Darren is leaving a few weeks earlier than we had planned but his departure was unavoidable. I would like to wish Darren well in his future career.”
Building on the good work that has already taken place, the new Director hopes to further develop and improve the Health Service on St Helena.
Dr Ali brings with him a wealth of experience, which has taken him all over the world to work.
He commented on his attraction to St Helena:
“I had a cherished opportunity to work in international health and emergency relief for about five years working in countries such as India, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo to name a few. It can be said that I bit the ‘bug’ for international work from that experience. This is what drew me to a role like the one in St Helena and I am excited and looking forward to commencing in April.”
Dr Ali graduated from medical school 25 years ago and has since continued to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in the field. His immediate prior experience coming into the role as Director of Health is from a background of working as Director of Public Health Service in the NHS and local government authorities in the UK. Since 2008 he has worked as Director of Public Health in the UK – his most recent role being with the Northamptonshire County Council.
Dr Ali currently lives in Northamptonshire with his wife and two children – daughter Lara (13) and son Luis (9). Both Lara and Luis are excited about moving to St Helena though will only come on extended visits due to schooling.
Dr Ali concluded:
“It is a good time to come to the Island as the expected wheel of change begins to turn. I would cherish the opportunity to work with the community and the teams in St Helena to develop strategies and interventions to foster a sustainable healthcare system that we can all be proud of.”
Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, concluded:
“We are delighted that Akeem is joining St Helena Government. He brings with him extensive relevant experience in the public health field as well as significant international experience which will stand him in good stead.
“I am grateful to Helen Lawrence who will once again stand in as Acting Director until Akeem’s arrival.”
28 February 2017