Dr Magda Robalo

Communicable Diseases Cluster

Dr Magda Robalo is the Director of the Communicable Diseases Cluster (CDS) at the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

She leads the HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases and Protection of the Human Environment programmes to find innovative and lasting solutions to increase and sustain uptake of interventions, remove barriers to adherence and behaviour change, expand opportunities for integration, and maximize returns on investment.

Communicable diseases afflict millions of people, constrains social, human and economic development and trap vast numbers in a vicious cycle of disease and poverty. Her leadership ensures bold and robust policies, strategies and approaches are developed and implemented to deliver proven and cost-effective medicines, tools and interventions to affected populations, particularly the most vulnerable.

Magda’s professional experience in public health spans over 25 years. She has worked on malaria, HIV/AIDS, immunization and maternal and child health programmes in both the public sector in her native country, Guinea-Bissau, as well as international multilateral and nongovernmental organizations such as UNICEF, Plan International and WHO, which she joined in 1998. This wealth of national and global experience, combined with her decisive leadership approach, contributes to advancement of the health agenda in the African Region.

She received her Medical Degree from the University of Porto (Portugal), a post-graduate diploma of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), and a Masters of Science in Epidemiology from Universite Laval (Canada).