Muhammad Ali Pate

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Muhammad Ali Pate
Muhammad Ali Pate at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 2012.jpg
Muhammad Ali Pate at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 2012
Minister of State for Health
Succeeded by Dr. Khaliru Alhassan
Chief Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency
Chigarin Misau
Assumed office
September 2013
Personal details
Born (1968-09-06) 6 September 1968 (age 48)
Misau, Nigeria
Alma mater Duke University
University College London
University of Rochester
Ahmadu Bello University

Muhammad Ali Pate (Born 6 September 1968) is the former Minister of Health in Nigeria. His appointment in July 2011[1] follows his success as the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in Abuja, Nigeria.[2][3] 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.[4] He also serves on the agenda committee of the World Economic Forum.[5] Dr Pate is an American Board-Certified MD in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, with an MBA (Health Sector Concentration) from Duke University USA. Prior to this he studied at the University College London, the 7th in the country.[6] He also has a Masters in Health System Management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Big Win Philanthropy and an Adjunct Professor of Global Health of the Duke University Global Health Institute. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts.

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."[7] Dr. Pate also participated as a speaker on Voices in Leadership, an original Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health webcast series, in a session titled, "Leadership Lessons Learned: Eradicating Polio in Nigeria."[8]

Early career[edit]

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 Pate was the far-reaching health sector reform programmes 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 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.[9] 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 Nigeria the wild poliovirus WPV is mainly prevalent in the north of the country.[10] 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. The cases of WPV reduced from 803 at the end of 2008 to only 11 cases in 2010.

Primary health care implementation in Nigeria[edit]

Dr 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.

Dr Pate identified the key failings in the healthcare system as structural constraint, fiscal decentralisation, mismatched burden of disease and low quality spending, poor and inequitable intermediate and long-term health outcomes, 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 immunisation; and engaged with the governors and local government agencies to ensure improvements in Primary Health Care. Furthermore, Dr Pate pushed the agenda for decentralisation and integration and has improved the quality and quantity of human resources at the frontlines.[11]

Midwives service scheme[edit]

Dr Pate 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 hub and spoke arrangement in which four selected primary health care facilities with 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.[12]

The scheme has mobilised 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 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.

Big Win Philanthropy[edit]

Dr Pate currently serves 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.

Recent publications[edit]

Abimbola S, Okoli U, Olubajo O, Abdullahi M.J., Pate M.A.. The Midwives Service Scheme in Nigeria. PLoS Medicine 2012: 9(5): e1001211.

Gupta N., Maliqi B., Franca A., Nyonator F., Pate M.A. Sanders D., et al., Human resources for maternal, newborn and child health: from measurement planning to performance for improved health outcomes. Human Resources for Health 2011, 9.16.

Pate M.A. in: Cochi, Stephen L, Walter R.Dowdle, editors. Disease Eradication in the 21st Cewntury: Implications for Global Health. Strungmann Forum Report vol 7. Cambride 2011, MA:MIT Press.

Wassilak S., Pate M.A., Wannemuehler K., et al.: Outbreak of Type 2 Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus in Nigeria: Emergence and Widespread Circulation in an under-immunised population. J Infectious Diseases 2011. 203 (7).

Jenkins H.E. Aylward B.R., Pate M.A. et al.: Implications of a Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus in Nigeria. New England Journal of Medicine 362. 24 June 2010.

Participation in expert review panels[edit]

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.[13]


  1. ^ "Dr. Pate Assumes Duty, Promises Efficient Service Delivery". Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Dugger, Celia W. "A Campaign Shows Signs of Progress Against Polio". Herald Tribune. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Getting the “Last Hair” in Nigeria – Muhammad Pate | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Muhammad Ali Pate | World Economic Forum-Muhammad Ali Pate". Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Former Fellows. (2017, February 24). Retrieved April 04, 2017, from
  8. ^ Muhammad Pate, Former Minister of State for Health of Nigeria. (2016, October 07). Retrieved April 04, 2017, from
  9. ^ "WHO African Region: Nigeria – Polio eradication". Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Global Polio Eradication Initiative". Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  11. ^ McKenzie and Enyimayew; Kwame Adogboda, Carole Baekey and Bryan Haddon (2010). "Workshop on 'Bringing PHC under one roof'" (PDF). Partnership for Reviving Routine Immunization in Northern Nigeria; Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Nigeria Midwives Service Scheme". National Primary Health Care Development Agency. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Getting the "Last Hair" in Nigeria". Retrieved 16 July 2011.