As of yesterday the World Health Organisation’s Chief of the African Region is spearheaded by a female Motswana doctor, known as Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Moeti was nominated regional Director by ministers of health across 47 member states of the WHO African Region last year November in Cotonou, Benin. Her five-year term is set to begin on February 1st this year, succeeding Dr Luis Gomes Sambo, an Angolan native who has served as a regional director for the past decade.
The Motswana doctor pledged to accord the highest priority to the Ebola Virus Disease once she occupies office. She pledged further to work with WHO colleagues and partners to help affected countries reduce the disease and ultimately reach zero cases. More-so, she aims to start on a recovery agenda for the affected areas, building resilient health systems that can withstand similar shocks in the near future.
Dr. Moeti noted that the outbreak has been an a reminder of the importance of investing in good quality, fair health services that reach all citizens in countries, and of building up preparedness and capacity to contain infectious diseases. Outside EBV, she further aims to help countries in their efforts of making a faster progress in reducing deaths among mothers and children and tackling HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, while promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing non communicable diseases.
“I will fast-track the implementation of WHO’s global reform programme in the African Region, driving towards our being an even more effective, fast-acting and accountable partner to our Member States” she states to delegates at the Executive Board .
Dr. Moeti’s role in the health industry ripples across her come country, to Southern and Eastern African regions. She is a public health veteran with over 35 years of work with WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS and the ministry of health for Botswana. Her range of ability expands vastly in the health sector, with immunization, maternal and child health, communicable and non communicable diseases, and health systems strengthening to name a few. Her work with WHO stems from 1999.