The World Health Organisation has appointed a public health physician, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, as its African regional director. Before her new appointment, Moeti served as the organisation’s deputy regional director, a position she held for 10 years. The WHO announced her elevation in a statement on Tuesday. According to the statement, Moeti, the first woman to hold the position, begins her term at a time the agency is championing reforms to halt the Ebola Virus Disease crisis in West Africa.

The WHO stated, “She will work with WHO colleagues and partners to help the affected countries halt the spread of the disease and reach zero cases, while starting on the recovery agenda, including the building of resilient health systems able to withstand similar shocks in the future. “This outbreak, with its devastating impact on health, families, livelihoods and security in the worst-affected countries, has been a tragic reminder of the importance of investing in good quality, fair health services that reach all citizens in countries, and of building up preparedness and capacity to contain infectious diseases.”

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