WHO appoints Dr Pascoal Mocumbi as Goodwill Ambassador for maternal mortality reduction in the African Region
Jul 4, 2005 - 10:36:38 PM

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) has appointed Dr Pascal Mocumbi of Mozambique as the Goodwill Ambassador for maternal, newborn and child health, with special attention to mortality reduction, in the WHO African Region.

As Goodwill Ambassador, he will serve as the voice of millions of voiceless African women, newborns and children by exploring various mechanisms for the promotion of their health, advocating with governments, communities, philanthropists, philanthropic organizations and foundations to mobilize funds to promote maternal, newborn and child health, including the adoption of the “Road map for accelerating the attainment of the MDGs relating to maternal and newborn health ” by countries.

A former Prime Minister, minister of health and minister of foreign affairs of his country, Dr Mocumbi is credited with restructuring and rationalizing Mozambique’s health care delivery system to a level that is now recognized regionally and globally as a ‘best practice’. Confronted, as health minister, with limited resources for maternal and newborn health in Mozambique, he initiated a career of maternal and child health nurses and conceived a programme of training and deploying non-physicians such as nurses and medical assistants to undertake life-saving activities such as emergency obstetric care necessary to reduce maternal mortality.

Widely respected both at home and abroad, WHO/AFRO’s new Goodwill Ambassador for maternal, newborn and child health has extensive experience in both clinical work and evidence-based health management in limited resource settings.

He currently serves as the High Representative of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) based in The Hague, The Netherlands. EDCTP aims to accelerate the development of new clinical interventions to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Mocumbi, whose professional association with WHO spans over two decades, also brings to his new assignment experience as a member of the Board of the International Women’s Health Coalition, a Patron of the United Nations Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa, member of the Coordinating Committee of the Global HIV Vaccine Initiative and Medicines for Malaria Venture. .

His principal briefs as Goodwill Ambassador for maternal, newborn and child health in the African Region are to step up advocacy and resource mobilization for accelerating the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals related to maternal and newborn health in the region.

Specifically, he will:

· Raise awareness of maternal, newborn and child health issues among target groups e.g. Heads of State, policy-makers, development partners and community leaders

· Organize and undertake targeted activities with NGOs, parliamentarians, national and professional women’s bodies and associations, the private sector and international organizations

· Engage the media and utilize occasions such as “Mother’s Day” to promote women’s and children’s health and disseminate relevant WHO material for promoting maternal, newborn and child health, and

· Facilitate fund raising by stakeholders for improved maternal, newborn and child health

In a note of consent and acceptance to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, Dr Mocumbi said: “This is a challenge I accept knowing that I will benefit from your enlightened guidance and assistance of the WHO Regional Office for Africa”.

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