ETHIOPIA— The World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency dedicated to promoting health, has appointed Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa as its representative to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Dr. Kaluwa formally presented his credentials to H.E. Melaku Bedada, Director General of Protocol Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, marking the official commencement of his tenure in Ethiopia.

With nearly thirty years of experience in public health, particularly in areas such as HIV/AIDS, epidemiological surveillance, strategic planning, program development, and monitoring and evaluation, Dr. Kaluwa brings a wealth of expertise to his new role.

Prior to his appointment as WHO Representative to Ethiopia, Dr. Kaluwa served in various capacities, including as WHO Country Representative for South Africa, Ghana, and Eswatini, as well as Regional Adviser for HIV/AIDS for the Africa Region.

Before joining WHO in 2002, Dr. Kaluwa held key positions in his home country of Malawi, including Head of Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Programmes at the Ministry of Health, National Coordinator of HIV/AIDS Strategic Planning, and Programme Director of the National AIDS Commission.

Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa holds a specialization in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine from the Free University of Berlin in Germany.

His appointment was warmly received by H.E. Melaku Bedada, who expressed deep appreciation for WHO’s commitment to deploying expertise and resources towards achieving universal health coverage in Ethiopia.

The Director General highlighted WHO’s significant contributions to Ethiopia’s healthcare system and expressed confidence in Dr. Kaluwa’s ability to further strengthen the partnership between WHO and Ethiopia across various health initiatives.

Subsequently, Dr. Kaluwa paid a courtesy visit to the Ethiopian Minister of Health, H.E. Dr. Mekdes Daba, demonstrating goodwill, collaboration, and dedication between the Ministry of Health Ethiopia and the UN’s Health Agency in advancing public healthcare endeavors in Ethiopia.

On her part, Dr. Mekdes Daba reiterated her ministry’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with WHO and serving the community collectively.

During the meeting, the Minister emphasized WHO’s crucial role in capacity building for health workers, outbreak and emergency response, and various other health interventions.

She emphasized the need for ongoing support from WHO in emergency preparedness and response activities across the country, particularly in enhancing the capacity to predict, prepare, and respond to diverse emergencies.

Dr. Kaluwa echoed the Minister’s priorities, highlighting the importance of prioritizing local production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines in the region for the benefit of the entire African region.

He pledged WHO’s support in pharmaceutical quality assurance and reiterated WHO’s commitment to consolidating its role in public health emergencies, particularly in prevention and preparedness efforts.

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