Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti is the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa and the first woman to occupy this position. In February 2020 she was confirmed by the WHO Executive Board after her resounding re-election for a second term. Over the past five years, Dr Moeti has led a Transformation Agenda that is widely acknowledged to have improved WHO’s performance and effectiveness and to have informed the global WHO Transformation.
Under Dr Moeti’s leadership tremendous progress has been made, including interruption of wild poliovirus transmission in the WHO African Region – this is the second disease to be eradicated from the Region after small pox 40 years ago. Capacities to respond health emergences like COVID-19 and Ebola have also improved significantly improved. Through the regional flagship programme on Universal Health Coverage, WHO is supporting countries to ensure people can access to needed care without financial hardship.
Dr Moeti is a medical doctor and public health expert, with more than 40 years of national and international experience. She has worked with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, where she has held several senior positions, since 1999. Dr Moeti successfully led WHO’s “3 by 5” Initiative in the African Region, which aimed to expand access to antiretroviral therapy in countries. Prior to joining WHO, Dr Moeti worked with UNAIDS as the Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva, with UNICEF as a Regional Advisor, and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health in various capacities.
In recognition of her excellent service to humanity, Dr Moeti has received many accolades including an Honorary Fellowship from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana, Honoris Causa Doctorate by Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical,Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, COVID-19 Heroine by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President Center for Women and nominated Women of 2020, Financial Times. She is a great champion for women in leadership in global health.