Gaborone, Botswana - 25 July 2019: This morning, His Excellency Dr Mokgwetsi E.K. Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, hosted Dr Martins Ovberedjo, the WHO Representative to Botswana (WR), who was bidding him farewell as he completes his His Excellency tour-of-duty in Botswana. Dr Ovberedjo has served in Botswana since January 2016 and he is leaving on re-assignment to Eritrea.
In hosting him, President Masisi expressed gratitude and appreciation for the commitment and achievements recorded during Dr Ovberedjo's assignment to Botswana. He further thanked him for his official and personal commitment to supporting Botswana's efforts on continuous improvement of the health of the citizens of the country with notable focus on child and maternal health, efforts on malaria elimination, universal health coverage, and the improvements in quality health services. Such efforts, the President said, are well recognised including WHO's contribution to the ongoing implementation of the restructuring of the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW).
On technical support to the MoHW, President Masisi appreciated WHO's expertise and support demonstrated by the high quality of input and guidance contributed by the local, Regional and Global WHO staff.
On his part, Dr Ovberedjo thanked His Excellency the President for the warm welcome and hospitality shown by Botswana to him and his family as well as the sound relationship between the government and WHO. Successes achieved were essentially a result of the partnership between the MoHW and WHO. During his tenure Dr Ovberedjo visited most of the districts in the country, a process which enabled him to appreciate issues and challenges in the health sector in Botswana. This, he said, enabled him to focus on the best ways to synergise efforts towards addressing these concerns through inter-sectoral collaboration.
Dr Ovberedjo also assured His Excellency that the incoming WR will continue the activities and sustain the gains made.
At the end of the meeting, Dr Ovberedjo shared with some media personnel his insight into his experience in Botswana.