Dr Matshidiso Moeti

The WHO Executive Board, currently holding its 146th session in Geneva, has re-appointed Dr Matshidiso Moeti for a second term as WHO Regional Director for Africa Re-election of the Regional Director for Africa

Speaking after voting exercise, Dr Matshidiso said “I am greatly honoured to have been appointed to serve a second term as the WHO Regional Director for Africa and I would like to thank you for the trust you have shown,” said Dr Moeti.

He said Africa is increasingly facing the double burden of diseases, the next five years in public health will be crucial in laying a strong foundation to reverse this burden.

Dr Moeti, who is from Botswana, said she will accelerate action towards attaining universal health coverage so that everyone can access care without financial hardship. Despite significant health challenges in the African region, which serves 47 countries, progress is being made in strengthening health systems, combating diseases and improving people’s health. Recent efforts by Member States include policies to tackle tobacco use, vaccines for cervical cancer and malaria prevention as well as joint initiatives to procure medicines affordably.

As the first woman WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Moeti was elected as WHO Regional Director for Africa on 1 February 2015. In 1999, she joined the WHO Regional Office for Africa, and has served as Deputy Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Representative for Malawi, Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the South and East African countries and Regional Advisor for HIV/AIDS.

Before joining WHO, Dr Moeti worked as Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva (1997–1999) with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). She also worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as Regional Health Advisor for East and Southern Africa; and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health as a clinician and public health specialist.

Dr Moeti holds a degree in medicine (and a master’s degree in public health from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, respectively.

She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Health & Allied Sciences, Ghana.