Deputy President congratulates new WHO assistant Director General

Friday, October 27, 2017

The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, has congratulated Dr Nono Simelela on her appointment as World Health Organisation (WHO) Assistant Director General. 

Simelela will head the WHO Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Division from 13 November 2017.

Deputy President Ramaphosa and Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, commended Dr Simelela and wished her well in her new global role. 

Simelela will assume her position under the leadership of WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African in 69 years to be appointed head of the global health authority. 

With more than 30 years experience as an obstetrician, academic, advocate and public servant, Simelela boasts an impressive CV. Among Simelela’s accolades are her services as Special Advisor to Deputy President Ramaphosa since 2014, with her work ranging from support for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections to reviewing the Expanded Public Works Programme.

Her appointment to the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and her contribution to health and broader social policy in South Africa was acknowledged by government during a meeting on Thursday, 19 October 2017 of the SANAC IMC, which comprises 16 departments and the leadership of SANAC.
Other senior leadership roles in South Africa have included serving as SANAC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Director of Technical Knowledge and Support for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Cluster Manager for HIV, TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections for the Department of Health.

While her new role will see her do more, she is not new to WHO as she previously sat on its executive board as well as its technical committee for the development of guidelines for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

The new WHO leadership team represents 14 countries, including all WHO regions and women constitute more than 60% of this team. -

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