Gaborone — The Minister of Health and Wellness, Ms Dorcas Makgato, has hailed World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, for her profound work in the region.
In her remarks at a dinner organised to celebrate Dr Moeti, Ms Makgato assured Dr Moeti that Botswana was proud of her appointment and the work that she was doing and guaranteed her unconditional support.
Prior to the dinner, the minister said Dr Moeti met with her and other ministry officials to share progress in the country's health care system, such as progressive results with regard to HIV/AIDS.
During the interactions, she said it was easy sharing with her, "because we were talking to a person that has been part of the system for many years, as she grew up in the system."
"What she knows now, I am sure she can apportion a significant amount to what she learnt from the Botswana system," she added.
Her ministry's transformation agenda, Ms Makgato said was in alignment with what the regional office wanted to achieve.
"We want to be exemplary. It's a must that we are exemplary, so that whatever WHO wants to achieve, through the regional office, certainly Botswana, as a country, must be counted amongst those that are able to achieve," she said.
Currently, the minister said her ministry was transforming itself by changing mindsets of people, changing the paradigm of how it used to look at things and was largely looking at ensuring that it continued to provide quality health care system that was sustainable and in alignment with both the country's economic and health landscape.
For Botswana to be able to strengthen its health care system, the minister said Dr Moeti's assistance in terms of support, direction, vision and strategies was crucial.
She thanked the WHO office in Botswana, saying it had been good to her ministry in a number of instances 'especially when we were talking about transformation.'
"I don't think they are good to us, because you are there. But, they are good to us because we are good at what we do and they want us to be an ambassador of that which they wish everybody else must do. I certainly believe that Botswana is leading in terms of HIV/AIDS and has led before in terms of a very strong primary health care system," she added.
Additionally, Ms Makgato said Botswana was also leading in the transformative agenda and selling to everybody that this was a necessity and not just a nice thing to have, something that must happen.
For her part, Dr Moeti thanked the Ministry of Health and Wellness for extending an official invitation to her and for recognising and acknowledging her accomplishments.
World Health Organisation regional director said she was pleased to be the product of Botswana's health care system, adding that "everything I know, or at least much of what I know, was formed here."
During her visit, she said she had an opportunity to visit the new Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital and Baylor Botswana Centre, 'and that just shows, as far as provision of health care, how far the country has gone in 51 years.'
"I am also very happy that I am paying this visit at the time when the reform and transformation agenda of the health sector and Ministry of Health and Wellness that has been prepared over the last couple of years is about to kick off," she added.
She said she was also given feedback on how the restructuring had progressed, how it was designed and how very soon the ministry's senior officials and managers were going to be recruited.
Dr Moeti was appointed WHO regional director on February 1, 2015, being the first woman to accede to this position.
She joined WHO's Africa regional office in 1999 and has served as deputy regional director, assistant regional director, director of non-communicable diseases, WHO representative for Malawi and coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the South and East African countries.
Source : BOPA