World Health Organzation (WHO) Representative in Zimbabwe presents credentials

Dr. Desta Tiruneh, the newly appointed World Health Organization Representative for Zimbabwe, officially presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honorable Frederick Shava, marking the commencement of his tenure.

His appointment took effect on 1 April 2024.

Hon. Shava welcomed Dr Tiruneh and pledged the Government of Zimbabwe’s full cooperation during his tenure. He expressed gratitude for WHO’s invaluable technical support in addressing public health challenges, including ongoing cholera and polio outbreaks.

Hon. Shava noted that Zimbabwe will continue to work with the WHO to ensure that it improves and strengthens health systems and the health sector in general as well as building the capacity of health sector experts to enable them to deal with and control various diseases emerging in society.

“We acknowledge the role of WHO and appreciate the work being done in various pillars to support country priorities,” he said.

Acknowledging Zimbabwe’s ongoing efforts to address health challenges amidst issues like brain drain, Dr. Tiruneh, praised the country’s commitment to health sector reforms and collaboration with international bodies like WHO.

Dr. Tiruneh brings over two decades of development experience to his role. He served as WHO Representative in The Gambia from September 2017 to March 2024.

A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Tiruneh previously served as an assistant professor at a medical school and held various leadership roles in health program management at district, regional, and national levels in Ethiopia. He holds M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from the University of Addis Ababa. Following his entry into WHO in 2021, he served as an advisor for over 17 years in immunization programmes and communicable and non-communicable disease prevention, control, elimination, and eradication efforts.

In his new role, Dr. Tiruneh looks forward to collaborating with the Government of Zimbabwe, the UN system, bilateral and multilateral partners, civil society, and the private sector to accelerate progress towards achieving health-related goals, with a particular focus on strengthening the country’s health systems.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organzation (WHO) – Zimbabwe.

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