New WHO Representative for Zimbabwe Assumes Office

Dr. Desta Tiruneh, presents his credentials to Foreign Minister Frederick Shava, officially marking the commencement of his journey as the new WHO Representative to Zimbabwe. (Image: X)
Spread the love

HARARE, Zimbabwe,– Dr. Desta Tiruneh, the newly appointed World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Zimbabwe, has officially commenced his tenure. Dr. Tiruneh presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honorable Frederick Shava, on Tuesday.

Dr. Tiruneh’s appointment took effect on April 1, 2024, according to APO Group.

Welcoming Dr. Tiruneh, Hon. Shava pledged the Government of Zimbabwe’s full cooperation. He expressed gratitude for WHO’s ongoing technical support in addressing public health challenges, including cholera and polio outbreaks.

“Zimbabwe will continue to collaborate with WHO to enhance and strengthen our health systems,” Hon. Shava said. “We appreciate WHO’s role and the work being done to support our country’s health priorities.”

Dr. Tiruneh acknowledged Zimbabwe’s efforts to tackle health challenges amid issues like brain drain. He praised the country’s commitment to health sector reforms and collaboration with international bodies like WHO.

Dr. Tiruneh brings over two decades of development experience to his role. He served as WHO Representative in The Gambia from September 2017 to March 2024. A medical doctor by profession, he previously served as an assistant professor at a medical school and held various leadership roles in health program management at district, regional, and national levels in Ethiopia. He holds M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from the University of Addis Ababa. Since joining WHO in 2021, he has advised on immunization programs and the prevention, control, elimination, and eradication of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

In his new role, Dr. Tiruneh looks forward to collaborating with the Government of Zimbabwe, the UN system, bilateral and multilateral partners, civil society, and the private sector to accelerate progress toward achieving health-related goals, with a particular focus on strengthening the country’s health systems.