Dr. Custodia Das Dores Isaac Mandlhate Appointed As The Acting WHO Representative in Zambia

The Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya welcoming the WHO Representative a.i. Dr.  Custodia Mandlhate at the  Ministry of Health headquarters in Lusaka. The Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya welcoming the WHO Representative a.i. Dr. Custodia Mandlhate at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Lusaka.

Lusaka, 9 June 2017 - The WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has appointed Dr. Custodia Das Dores Isaac Mandlhate, a national of Mozambique as the Acting WHO Representative for Zambia. Dr. Mandlhate takes over from Dr. Jacob Mufunda who has been reassigned to the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville. Dr. Mandlhate arrived in Zambia on 6 June 2017. She was warmly welcomed by the WHO Country Office staff.

Dr. Mandlhate was officially welcomed to Zambia by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya at a meeting which was held at the Ministry of Health on 8 June 2017. During the meeting, Dr. Chilufya said that he looked forward to continued collaboration with the World Health Organization under the leadership of Dr. Mandlhate. He informed her that the Ministry was undergoing a transformation agenda for positioning health at the centre of development within the context of government’s aspiration of becoming a middle income country as per Agenda 2030. He emphasised the fact that the major thrust of the transformation agenda was to move away from a focus on curative services to promotion of healthy lifestyles and prevention of diseases with strong community participation and that the Directorate of Health Promotion, Environment and Social Determinants had been established to oversee this agenda. However, the Minister reiterated the fact that communicable diseases, Non-communicable diseases, high rates of maternal and child deaths, insufficient human resources, alcohol misuse and substance abuse remained major public health challenges and priorities for action. He also emphasised the need for WHO in collaboration with other partners to provide support for preventing and responding to health emergencies.


Dr. Mandlhate reiterated WHO’s commitment to supporting the Ministry of Health in implementing the National Health Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 including efforts aimed at accelerating the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Zambia. She said that WHO would continue supporting the Ministry of Health within the framework of the Country Biennial Work Plan 2016-2017 and the County Cooperation Strategy 2017 – 2021. She emphasised the importance of partnerships and that WHO would continue to collaborate other UN agencies and partners in health.

Dr. Custodia das Dores Isaac Mandlhate is a Psychiatrist. Her career in public health started in 1989 in Mozambique where she served in the national mental health services and in managerial positions at district and provincial level including lecturing at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. She holds a Doctorate degree from the University of Lausanne – Switzerland, a post graduate in psychiatry and psychotherapy, and a diploma in medicine from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.  She has also trained in management, leadership and health diplomacy. Dr. Mandlhate joined WHO in 1997 as the WHO Regional Advisor for Mental Health until 2003 when she was appointed as the WHO Representative in Namibia. She served in the same capacity in Zimbabwe from 2007 to 2012 and in Kenya from 2012 until her retirement in May 2016. She brings to Zambia a wealth of experience which will benefit the office during the tenure of her assignment. Dr. Mandlhate is a mother of two children grand-mother of three.


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