9 August 2018

Africa: Staff Association Hosts Welcome Event for New WR

The Zimbabwe Staff Association today hosted a tea and cake event to welcome the new WHO Representative to Zimbabwe, Dr Alex Gasasira to the office. Dr Gasasira assumed office on 6th August 2018. The event, which was held in the Boardroom, was an opportunity for Dr Gasasira to meet the staff and for the staff to extend a warm Zimbabwean welcome to him.

Mr Patrick Avognon, the Operations Officer led the staff in welcoming Dr Gasasira with "Mauya!" the shona word for welcome. He said the Zimbabwe team welcomes Dr Gasasira and is ready to work under his leadership.

In response, Dr Gasasira appreciated the welcome gesture by the staff association, and assured everybody that he was looking forward to working with the team. He said that WCO Zimbabwe is one of the best performing WHO county offices in the region as measured by key performance indicators monitored under WHO AFRO transformation agenda. Dr Gasasira called on all staff to continue to excel, and even surpass past performances. He also acknowledged the work done by Dr Juliet Nabyonga who was Officer in Charge from the time Dr Okello left in November 2017, to date. The team in Zimbabwe is made up of IST ESA and WCO Zimbabwe.

Before coming to Zimbabwe, Dr Gasasira was WR in Liberia where he led his team to a successful response to the 2014-2015 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and subsequently supported Liberian national authorities to implement post Ebola investment plan to build a resilient health system. The Zimbabwe team welcomes him and hopes to learn from his vast experience.

The Staff Association took advantage of the gathering to present to staff some proposals on the issues that had been raised by staff. These issues included; SHI and the agreements with local hospitals and service providers; what the Organization can do to support staff members especially in times of bereavement; consensus on financial obligations of staff to the association. The leadership of the association also took time to encourage staff to utilise the gym and other facilities to curb the rise of NCDs.

Staff then enjoyed tea, cake and fruits and got a chance to chat informally with Dr Gasasira.

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