Oxygen therapy program: About the team

To learn more about CHAI’s oxygen therapy program, visit our program page.

Global team

Zachary Katz is the vice president of Essential Medicines at CHAI, leading its team focused on improving care and treatment for diarrhea and pneumonia, amongst the leading causes of mortality for children under five years old. After graduating with an MPA from New York University, Zach joined CHAI in 2006 to open its office in Papua New Guinea. He continued on to lead the CHAI office in Cambodia and take on regional management in Southeast Asia. In 2010, he took over the Laboratory Services Team, focusing on point-of-care diagnostics to diagnose and manage HIV and tuberculosis. Between 2016 and 2020, Zach was the inaugural Chief Access Officer at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). Zach and his family are based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Audrey Battu is the director of Essential Medicines at CHAI. As director, Audrey is responsible for increasing use of pediatric diarrhea and pneumonia treatment, including access to medical oxygen, across high-burden countries. The program launched in mid-2011, with an initial focus on diarrhea. Once there was a strong track record of increasing diarrhea treatment rates at scale, the focus expanded to include pneumonia treatment, including access to medical oxygen, starting in 2015. Audrey joined CHAI in 2009 and prior to her role in Essential Medicines, she worked in global operations, focusing on CHAI’s people management, including staff development, recruitment, and compliance. Audrey has a BA from Gordon College and an MPA from Northeastern University.

Felix Lam is the associate director of Essential Medicines at CHAI, a program that focuses on reducing under-five mortality due to diarrhea and pneumonia in high-burden countries. He joined CHAI in 2011 to oversee operational research studies to inform the development of global and country malaria policies for increasing access to diagnostic tests and treatments. Since joining the Essential Medicines team, he has continued to lead the team on using public health research tools and evidence to support data-driven decisions. Felix received a MS in Global Health and Population Studies at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and a BA in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jason Houdek is a senior technical advisor for the Essential Medicines team at CHAI. He supports the overall strategy and program development for CHAI’s global therapeutic oxygen program. Prior to this, Jason was CHAI’s country director in Sierra Leone, ensuring existing programs delivered exceptional results while expanding CHAI’s operational footprint to support the government in improving health outcomes for the most vulnerable. Jason lived and worked in Western Africa, including Nigeria and Sierra Leone, for nearly a decade. He studied cellular and molecular biology at the University of Michigan, and later obtained an MPH from Tulane University.

Martha Gartley is a senior technical advisor for the Essential Medicines team at CHAI, where she is the key advisor to product developers, CHAI, and the governments in program focal countries on the technical design, development, production, and use of oxygen equipment and systems. Martha has over a decade of experience driving engineering projects from inception to implementation, with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries. Prior to her role at CHAI, Martha worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders in over eight countries, designing programs for water and sanitation interventions in mass population displacements, positively affecting the health and wellbeing of over 440,000 refugees and displaced persons. Martha received a BS in Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics from McGill University and an MSE from the University of Melbourne.

Countries team

Rosemary Kihoto serves as CHAI’s director of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health in Kenya. Rosemary joined CHAI in 2008. During her tenure at CHAI, she has served as the program manager for Pediatric HIV, where she was instrumental in the design and implementation of Kenya’s national efforts to rapidly expand access to HIV testing and treatment services for children. Prior to joining CHAI, Rosemary was a project and budget analyst with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), working and supporting the East and West Africa and Southeast Asia regions. She currently serves on the board of a charitable organization that focuses on ending child prostitution in Kenya. Rosemary holds a BS in Business Administration and Finance from the United States International University Africa (USIU-A) and is a certified public accountant. She also holds a MID from Bradford University, UK.

Deepak Dabas is CHAI’s associate director of Essential Medicines in India, which focuses on pneumonia, diarrhea, and oxygen initiatives. He has 15 years of experience leading teams in strategy and project management in healthcare, public-private partnerships, and financial services across India, Europe, and the Middle East. He received an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, where he received the Dr. K Nath Public Trust Gold Medal for academic excellence (2006-08).

Chizoba Fashanu is CHAI’s deputy director of Essential Medicines and Malaria in Nigeria. She has more than 20 years of experience leading health projects in Nigeria with governments, NGOs, and donors across both international development and public health programs. She has worked on HIV, malaria, child, maternal, and reproductive health programs, and has also worked on a DFID-supported program to support state governments in Nigeria implement pro-poor development interventions. In her current role she oversees the implementation of impactful and innovative programs to improve access to care for children and their families. She also heads the health financing program in CHAI, Nigeria. She holds an MBBS from the University of Lagos College of Medicine, an MPH from University of Texas, a PGD in Health Economics from the University of York and an MSc in Epidemiology from LSHTM.

Dr. Habtamu Seyoum is CHAI’s senior program manager for the Essential Medicines/Child Survival program in Ethiopia. In this role, Dr. Habtamu aims to reduce preventable childhood mortality nationally by accelerating access to services and commodities. Dr. Habtamu works directly with government partners to design and implement initiatives that address both demand and supply-side barriers to treatments for childhood pneumonia and diarrhea, including developing Ethiopia’s national plan for oxygen and pulse oximeter scale-up. He received an MD and MSc in Tropical and Infectious Diseases from Addis Ababa University and later obtained a DBM from the International Business Management Institute. Prior to joining CHAI, Dr. Habtamu worked at Intrahealth International and several government hospitals in Addis Ababa, where he was one of the first physicians in the country trained to prescribe HIV antiretrovirals. He has published a number of research papers including a retrospective cross-sectional study on Ethiopia’s use of pulse oximetry during initial assessments of children under five presenting with pneumonia.

Yewande Kamuntu is a program manager for CHAI’s oxygen expansion program in Uganda. She holds an MPharm degree from University of Nottingham and an MPH degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Yewande has over ten years of experience in clinical pharmacy – specializing in HIV – and over five years of experience in public health in the UK, Kenya, and Uganda. Yewande joined CHAI in 2018 as a senior associate for the diagnostics team in Uganda.

Tayo Olaleye is a program manager for the Essential Medicines team in Nigeria. She has vast experience working with country governments, providing technical and strategic support in policy development and program implementation with over ten years in research and public health. Tayo’s work on the Essential Medicines team has focused on improving the health outcomes of Nigerian children presenting with malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia – the top three causes of mortality for children under five years old. As a program manager, she worked with the Nigeria country team on a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded program to increase access to hypoxemia diagnosis and treatment across 30 secondary facilities in Northern Nigeria. Serving as CHAI Nigeria’s technical lead for oxygen access, Tayo manages relationships with key suppliers to advance program supply security objectives, relating to availability of medical oxygen and appropriate diagnostics. She graduated from Imperial College London with a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry with prior experience in formulation development and process chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca; she completed her post-doctorate at the University of Cambridge, UK.