World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Botswana, Dr. Martins Ovberedjo met with the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax in Gaborone, Botswana on 7th February, 2017.
In his remarks Dr. Ovberedjo reaffirm WHO's commitment to support SADC based on priorities within the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations, and expressed the desire to explore additional priorities for collaboration. He thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for according him the opportunity for a meeting. He highlighted that at the Regional meeting in Brazzaville, WHO regional office took a decision to increase interface both at the regional and headquarters levels to deepen its technical and financial cooperation with SADC. He noted that cross-border health initiatives, climate change and antimicrobial resistance are some areas where the two institutions could collaborate given its potential hazardous implications of antimicrobial resistance on both human and animal health.
Dr. Tax thanked Dr. Ovberedjo for re-affirming WHO's continued support to SADC. She pledged SADC's commitment to fulfill its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding. She highlighted the need to operationalize the MOU by, among others, developing an action plan to implement the MoU. "To achieve this it will be important to prioritize one or two activities where milestones can easily be recorded" Dr. Tax said. In this regard, the two Parties resolved to set up a working team to identify technical priorities to further deepen the existing collaboration between the two entities and nominated focal persons to coordinate development of priority action areas. One of such areas would be harmonization of medicine regulations.
Dr. Ovberedjo was accompanied by Mr. Moagi Gaborone, Health Information and Promotional Officer based in the WHO National Office in Gaborone, Botswana.