More about Dr. Akihiro Seita

Director of Health, UNRWA

Dr. Akihiro Seita is the Director of the Health Programme and the WHO Special Representative at UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) HQ in Amman, Jordan since 2011. UNRWA provides primary health care to 5.4 million Palestine Refugees in five different locations (fields): Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. UNRWA has 144 health centers with 3500 staff to respond to 9 to 10 million visitors every year. Dr. Seita is in charge of such extensive primary health care.

Dr. Seita is a leader in health reform. He manages the reform of UNRWA health services. He introduced a person-centered, family medicine approach or family health team (FHT), which is the best global practice within the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). He introduced the electronic medical record (or e-health). While expanding the e-health, he introduced an innovative cohort analysis for diabetes cases and contributed to 7 international peer-review articles. He took the lead in the introduction of the mobile application for the maternal and child health booklet (e-MCH booklet). Both FHT and e-health are in all health centers of UNRWA, contributing to quality, efficiency and effectiveness improvement. Presently, he pursues the improvement of primary health care by introducing mental health services.

Prior to UNRWA, Dr. Seita was the coordinator for tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria at the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office in Cairo, Egypt. He contributed to dozens of international scientific research papers based on UNRWA and WHO experiences. He received the Princess Chichibu Memorial TB Award for Global Contribution in 2014 and Takemi Life Science Award in 2017. He studied medicine at the Kochi medical school in Japan. He was the research fellow for the Takemi Programme of International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (2003-2004).