- He replaces Beatrice Mutali
- Stressed on the need to address high maternal mortality rate in Eswatini
Mbabane – Eswatini has had the privilege of welcoming the new (United Nations Population Fund) UNFPA Country Director Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi who replaces Beatrice Mutali.
Ndyanabangi, who is based in South Africa, Pretoria, also serves as Botswana’s UNFPA Country Director and South Africa’s UNFPA Resident Representative.
On his visit to the kingdom, Ndyanabangi, said his main focus in the country would be to attend to the high rate of maternal deaths.
UNFPA Eswatini Head of Office, Margaret Thwala, introduced Ndyanabangi in a press briefing at the UN offices.
In his address, the country director said their main concern was the high maternal mortality rate in the country, stating that they were going to focus on addressing the problem.
He said, “out of 450 people who give birth, 100 000 die on the table. This is an alarming number. Countries like South Africa, Botswana and others in the region who are in the same economy as Eswatini, range around 100 deaths in 100 000 births.
“We wish to improve maternal quality care as it may not be good enough, hence the high rate of deaths during birth. Also, we will assess available equipment, human resource skills, medication and other factors which may be attributed to this.”
The country director also said they would scrutinise gender-based violence in liaison with organisations like Kwakha Indvodza.
While in the country, Ndyanabangi will meet the local UNFPA team, visit FLAS, the Mbabane Government Hopsital, Kwakha Indvodza and the United States of America (US) ambassador to Eswatini to witness ongoing local UN programmes.
Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi has served as the interim Director for UNFPA East and Southern Africa Region over the past year. Over his career, Ndyanabangi has provided leadership as Deputy Representative and Representative to the UNFPA Nigeria, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Liberia country offices.
Throughout this time, he successfully drove the implementation of country programmes, improved government relationships and enhanced resource mobilisation efforts. Before joining UNFPA, the country director held several Programme Management and leadership roles with Management Sciences for Health, Commonwealth Community and GIZ.
Ndyanabangi holds a Medical Degree, a Master’s Degree in Public Health and PhD in Public health from the University of Heidelberg. He holds a Diploma in Medical Specialties from the Institute of Tropical Medicine and a Certificate in Administrative/Managerial Science from the University Of Stellenbosch Business School.