Harare, 9 Oct. 2018. On 3rd October, the new WHO Representative to Zimbabwe, Dr Alex Gasasira presented his credentials to the Government of Zimbabwe through the Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Cain G. Mathema in his capacity as the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
In his welcome statement, the Honorable Minister welcomed Dr Gasasira to Zimbabwe and congratulated him for his appointment as the WHO Representative for Zimbabwe, and said the Government and people of Zimbabwe are looking forward to a good working relationship with him. Honourable Minister Mathema commended Dr Gasasira for the job well done during his tenure as WR Liberia for his leadership of the WHO response to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, which he said was commendable, and expressed hope that Zimbabwe will benefit from his vast experience in outbreak response.
The Honourable Minister recognised WHO’s continued financial, logistical, advisory and technical support towards health programmes in Zimbabwe and appreciated the excellent working relations between WHO and the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Minister Mathema underscored the Government’s commitment to achieving equity and quality of health through Universal Health Care and said he looks forward to WHO’s support in realizing this goal as well as the unfinished agenda of the MDGs and the implementation of all the health related SDGs. “We appeal to WHO to continue lobbying the Global Fund to continue supporting the health programmes for Zimbabwe particularly the fight against TB and Malaria,” said Minister Mathema.
Dr Gasasira thanked the Honorable Minister for the welcome and conveyed warm greetings from WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus and WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti. He congratulated the Government of Zimbabwe and the Head of State for the successful holding of the harmonised elections and congratulated both the Head of State and the Honourable Minister for their appointments. He also pledged to work with the Government of Zimbabwe for the health of all Zimbabweans, and to maintain the good relationship that exists between WHO and the Government of Zimbabwe. Dr Gasasira also assured the Honorable Minister that his stay in Zimbabwe so far has been enjoyable.
Dr Gasasira joined WHO Zimbabwe in September 2018. Prior to this, Dr Gasasira worked as WHO Representative in Liberia where he successfully led WHO’s response to the ebola virus disease. As WHO Representative for Zimbabwe,he will be working with the Government of Zimbabwe to provide policy advice on matters of health and development, and directing the work of WHO in the country. He will also work closely with other UN Country Team members, to strengthen interactions with the Government of Zimbabwe, NGOs and donors in achieving results for health that are in harmony with the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF)