SOUTH AFRICA – The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has received her Honorary Fellowship Award from the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA).

Dr Moeti is the first woman to be elected as WHO Regional Director for Africa and she brings extensive national and international experience in public health.

She has led the transformation of WHO in Africa through cultivating partnerships including philanthropic foundations, civil society, academia, and increasing engagement with young people and women in global health.

Previously, Dr Moeti served WHO 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.

She also holds 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.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti has been conferred the highest honor of the CMSA for her outstanding contributions to the health of people of Africa especially improving health and well-being for the communities, countries and region as a whole.

The President of the Senate of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Professor Flavia Senkubuge presided over the formal ceremony that took place at Rhema Bible Church in Johannesburg City.

Also present at the event was honorable dignitaries including the distinguished CMSA’s Officers and Senate as well as many recipients of diplomas, certificates, and fellows of the CMSA.

Delivering her award citation, CMSA Vice President Professor Johan Fagan applauded Dr Moeti for her devotion to battling poverty and inequality in Africa along with striving to secure health and well-being for all Africa’s people regardless of age, socio-economic status or geographic location.

In so called normal circumstances, postgraduate specialization pushes you to the limits of your physical and mental capability but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic during your training has delivered some of the worst circumstances imaginable,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti said in her speech.

Dr Moeti assured fellow graduates of the CMSA that they have gained invaluable skills and expertise that will surely ensure that they are better prepared for future challenges both professional and personal.

She stressed that health professionals and scientists played a significant role in producing effective tools that improve health across the globe as well as communicating benefits of those tools to politicians, communities and ordinary citizens.

We need to always remain connected to the impact of what we do, what we produce, what we work on, and how this is going to be deployed on the ground regardless of our field of focus,” she maintained.

Previously, Dr Moeti was named COVID-19 Heroine by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women Development and featured in the Women of 2020 in the Financial Times.

She is also a member of the United States National Academy of Medicine with Special Recognition for African Health Leadership on COVID-19 from Amref Health Africa.

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