Johannesburg – FIND (https://www.FINDdx.org/) on Wednesday announced that Dr. Ntombenhle Mhlongo-Sigwebela, better known as Dr. Ntombi, will lead the organisation’s operations across the Southern Africa region.
FIND is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Sigwebela is a South African medical doctor with more than 20 years of experience in the field of infectious diseases of public health importance, including tuberculosis (TB) and HIV.
She began her career as a clinical investigator in multi-country clinical trials for HIV drugs and HIV service delivery demonstration projects that informed the rollout of antiretroviral drugs in South Africa.
She then moved into various leadership roles including Chief of Party at Right to Care, and Regional Director of Aquity Innovations, University Research Company (URC).
A passionate advocate for the health and well-being of people living with TB, HIV and other diseases of public health concern, Dr. Sigwebela has served on advisory committees for organisations including the World Health Organization and the South African National Department of Health.
She has contributed to the development of various TB-related guidelines in various Southern African countries, as well as the South Africa TB National Strategic Plan (20072011), and the South Africa HIV/TB National Strategic Plan (20122016).
Dr. Sigwebela is also a frequent speaker at conferences and events on topics related to TB, HIV, and other infectious diseases.
FIND opened a regional office in South Africa in 2014, to work with partners towards advancing diagnostic access and improving health outcomes in the region.
Strategic priorities include aiding the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) aligned with the goals of South Africas National Health Insurance (NHI), reducing the countrys quadruple disease burden, and strengthening health systems.
FIND is committed to enhancing the quality of primary healthcare services across the region, in recognition of the importance of patient-centred testing and care in achieving UHC.
Dr. Sanjay Sarin, FIND Vice President, Access, said: Ntombi has a wealth of expertise in operations management, resource mobilisation and health programme management, working across the Southern Africa region and globally.
“We are excited to welcome her to our team working hand-in-hand with countries, her leadership will help us tailor our approaches to their specific needs in diagnostic testing, to ensure that our programmatic activities can have sustainable impact.