Dr ZAWAIRA Felicitas

Dr Felicitas Zawaira was appointed Director of the Office of Regional Director in January 2021. She provides strategic guidance for the work of the Regional Office for Africa, consolidating the achievements of the regional transformation and aligning it with the global Transformation Programme. She also ensures that the WHO technical and management work reflect a strong country focus, optimally supported through dynamic partnerships and communication.

Previously, she was acting Assistant Regional Director, leading a multidisciplinary team covering research, digital health and innovation; data, analytics and knowledge management; diagnostics and laboratory services; antimicrobial resistance; integrated service delivery; and primary health care. From 2015 to 2020, she was Director of the Family and Reproductive Health Cluster, also in the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

Dr Zawaira began her more than 30 years of experience in public health in her native Zimbabwe as Director of Maternal and Child Health and then Principal Medical Director in the Ministry of Health. She joined WHO in 1998, working first in the Country Office for Zimbabwe before moving to the Regional Office for Africa, concentrating on HIV and women’s health. She has served as WHO Representative for Zanzibar (Tanzania), Uganda, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Botswana.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and a doctor of medicine from the University of Zimbabwe, a master’s degree in maternal and child health from the University of London and a diploma in management methods for international health from the University of Boston in the United States. Dr Zawaira is a member of the Institute of Child Health in London.