WHO Representative meets SADC Executive Secretary

Dr Ovberedjo handing over strategic WHO documents to Dr Tax Dr Ovberedjo handing over strategic WHO documents to Dr Tax

Gaborone, Botswana - 7 February 2017: World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Botswana, Dr. Martins Ovberedjo visited the SADC Secretariat to meet with the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax. 

In his remarks, Dr. Ovberedjo reaffirmed WHO’s commitment to work with SADC based on priorities contained in the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations and expressed the need to explore additional priorities for collaboration. He thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for according him the opportunity for a meeting and intimated that WHO has committed to strengthen collaboration with Regional Blocks including SADC. He cited cross-border health initiatives, climate change, antimicrobial resistance and Non-communicable Diseases as possible strategic areas where the two institutions could collaborate. 

Dr. Tax thanked Dr. Ovberedjo for re-affirming WHO’s continued support to SADC. She pledged SADC’s commitment to fulfill its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding. She emphasized the need to operationalize the MoU by, among others, developing an action plan to implement the MoU. “To achieve this it will be important to prioritize one or two activities where milestones can reasonably be reached and progress tracked” Dr. Tax said.  In this regard, the two Parties resolved to set up a working team to identify technical priorities to further deepen the existing collaboration between the two entities. Focal persons on each side were nominated to coordinate development of an operational plan on key priority action areas. Dr. Ovberedjo was accompanied by Mr. Moagi Gaborone, Health Information and Promotion Officer in the WHO Country Office.