About us

Rosemary Kumwenda

Regional Team Leader, HIV, Health and Development Coordinator, UN iIATT on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector

Based in: Istanbul Regional Hub for Europe and Central Asia
From: Zambia
Studied at: London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineUniversity of Medicine and Pharmacy of Cluj-Napoca
Languages: English, French, Romanian 

Hi, I’m Rosemary Kumwenda and I’m UNDP’s Team Leader for Regional HIV, Health and Development Team in Europe and CIS and I am also the Coordinator of the United Nations informal Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS)

I am a Medical Doctor and worked for the Ministry of health in Zambia for 10 years in both clinical care and public health, rising to the rank of City of Lusaka Director of Health before joining UNDP in the year 2000. 

My main areas of expertise:

1.    Public Health

2.    Social Protection and Economic Empowerment

3.    Health, Environment and the planet

4.    HIV, Health, Gender and Human rights

5.    Capacity building

My work

I have over 16 years of work experience in UNDP at country and regional levels. I spent 11 years as Assistant Resident Representative Poverty, HIV&AIDS Advisor in Zambia, also served in UNDP Malawi Country Office as HIV and AIDS policy Advisor to the Government of Malawi. I led the UN Joint teams on focus areas related to UNDP’s comparative advantage including HIV and the Law, Key populations, HIV and Gender mainstreaming in development plans and strategies.

I joined the HHD team at the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa as Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainable Responses HIV, Health and Development in 2014, pioneering work on Co-Financing, Leveraging Funding for Health from Capital Development and supporting national and regional government to develop Innovative Strategies to increase Domestic Financing for Health. In January 2017, I was appointed as the Regional HHD Team Leader for Europe and CIS and Coordinator of the United Nations informal Inter-Agency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the health Sector.

Some accomplishments

2016 - Relaunched the new Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) knowledge and communication platform.

Coordinated the finalization and launching of the first “HealthCare Procurement and Compliance with International Environmental Conventions on Chemicals: A UNDP Guide for Procurement”. 

Led team to deliver the first Capacity building training of sustainable procurement officers of Ukraine Ministry of Health.

2014-2016 - Member of Technical support team that developed the Africa Sustainable domestic financing for health score card.

Member of the Technical support team and Think Tank that developed the Southern Africa Development Community’s sustainable financing for Health and HIV Framework of action.

Member of the East African Community’s technical support Team that developed the Sustainable domestic financing strategy for Health and HIV.

2012-2014 - Conducted the first Legal Regulatory Environment of HIV national response in Malawi, which averted a catastrophic HIV law, which was going to criminalize HIV transmission.

Coordinated the development of the Malawi National HIV and AIDS policy.

Conducted the first Demographic and Econometric Modeling of the sustainability of the national HIV and AIDS response for Malawi.

2004-2011 - Developed and supported the implementation of the first ever HIV United Nations National volunteers scheme which saw the recruitment of 102 National volunteers placed in all Districts, Ministries and Provincial Centres of Zambia to fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Best practice documented in the Southern Africa Capacity Initiative.

Developed and supported implementation of the Economic empowerment for women carers of Orphans and vulnerable children using a village-banking concept adapted from Asia.

1995-2000 - Documented preferences of young people attending clinics in Lusaka seeking STI treatment as a thesis for my Masters degree and as a result, I set up Youth Friendly corners in 12 health clinics of Lusaka District.

Programme / project management. Various donor projects, associated with policy implementation at district level coordinated by the Ministry and Central board of health (total value: US$19m); the initiative by DFID supported the Government in construction of first level upgrade of health facilities in Lusaka district. Developed a referral mechanism and introduced user fees including by pass fees to encourage access to PHC centres before referral.

Safe motherhood by setting up the District maternity referral system and tremendously reduced maternal mortality in Lusaka District.

Implemented the first ever Japanese funded primary health care project for the urban city of Lusaka which averted water bone diseases, epidemics and improved nutrition status in the project sites.

For more information:
Email: rosemary.kumwenda@undp.org
Twitter: @RKumwenda

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