Deputy Minister- Health Services/ Chief Medical Officer -Republic of Liberia
Dr. Francis Nah Kateh is a native Liberian, born in Karlokeh, Maryland County. He completed his Elementary and Junior High School at M. H. Gibson, Karlokeh. He then matriculated to Our Lady of Fatima High School in Harper, Maryland County. He studied at the University of Liberia for three years before obtaining a scholarship through the United Methodist Church to MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois, USA, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He furthered his studies at Spartan University School of Health Sciences, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, West Indies and graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree. After practicing during the civil crisis in Liberia at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital where he served with distinction as Chief Medical Officer for 3 years, he returned to the United States and obtained a Master of Health Administration at Governors State University, University Park, Illinois.
He accepted a position as Public Health Director of Anson County Health Department becoming the First African to serve in that Position in the State of North Carolina from 2004 to his resignation in 2010. With his continuous passion to learn, Dr. Kateh earned a degree in Homeland Security with an emphasis in Public Health Disaster Preparedness with a sub specialty in Biological Weapons of Mass destruction, at the University of Connecticut becoming the only Public Health Director in the State of North Carolina to have a degree in Homeland Security, 2008.
On July 24, 2010, Dr. Kateh yielded to the call to help in the rebuilding of the health sector. He resigned his position in the United States of America and returned to begin the challenging job of providing leadership and build a Team to manage and run the operation of the 10 million dollars Medical Complex given by the People’s Republic of China to the People of the Republic of Liberia through the instrumentality of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, “the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital”.
Involvement on the Incident Management System
When the Ebola Crisis erupted, Dr. Kateh yielded to the call from the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to serve as a Technical Advisor to Margibi County in curbing the exponential rate of infection in the County. After a month of serving in the County, and based on a debrief of Dr. Tom Freiden, former CDC Director with Her Excellency, Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the then Incident Manager, Hon Tolbert Nyenswah asked to create a position as National Deputy Incident Manager for Medical Planning with an over-sight responsibility on the Technical Areas of the National Response. He is credited with the CCC (Community Care Center) Strategy, RITE (Rapid Isolation and Treatment of Ebola) Strategy and other interventions.
Dr. Kateh was appointed Deputy Minister/ Chief Medical officer in May of 2015 at the cessation of Ebola by H. E. Ellen Johnson, Former President of Liberia and was retained by H. E. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia, January, 2018.
Dr. Kateh received many awards but prominent among the many are: one of the two Alumni of the Millennium from MacMurray College published in the United Methodist Board of Higher Education Millennium Magazine of Outstanding Alumnus from United Methodist Affiliated Colleges, Universities and Seminaries 2000. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, 2001 by MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois, and a Honorary Doctor in Public Health from his alma mater for the work he did to contain EBOLA and risking his life for the safety of humanity by taking a trial vaccine for Ebola.
Dr. Kateh served in various capacities as Member of the Board of Trustees, MacMurray College, 2005-2007, Chairperson of Disaster Exercise Committee, NACCHO (National Association of Counties and Cities Health Officials), Washington, DC 2007-2009; Representative of the South Central Region to the NCALHD (North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors) representing eight counties 2007-2010 and Chairperson, Healthy Ansonians 2006-2010; Presently he serves as the Vice Chair/ Acting Chairperson of the Board of Trustee, Tubman University and Chairperson of the Board of Health, United Methodist Church, Liberia Annual Conference.
Dr. Kateh is a prolific speaker and has spoken at many conferences and programs within Liberia and many Countries around the World. Recently he spoke at the 16th Colloquium of the National Medical Association, the largest African American Medical Association with over 40,000 members