The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed Matshidiso Moeti as the regional director for Africa, the organization announced Tuesday.
Moeti was nominated by public health care professionals of the 47 member nations of the African Regional Committee. She will begin her five-year term on Feb. 1.
Moeti addressed the board following her appointment, pledging that response to the Ebola outbreak would continue to be the highest priority for the region. She pledged that the regional office would continue working with WHO partners to bring the number of cases in affected countries to zero.
"I will fast-track the implementation of WHO’s global reform program in the African region, driving towards our being an even more effective, fast-acting and accountable partner to our member states,” Moeti said.
She also plans to facilitate treatment and prevention measures to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other tropical diseases that receive little public health attention.
Prior to her appointment to the regional director, Moeti served as the deputy regional director and coordinator of the Inter-Country Support team for South and East African WHO countries. She has over 35 years of international health experience with UNICEF, UNAIDS and the Botswana Ministry of Health.
Moeti succeeds Luis Sambo, who served 10 years as WHO's regional director for Africa.