05 July 2016 - Geneva, Switzerland - The Stop TB Partnership is pleased to announce that three new staff members joined the Global Drug Facility (GDF) Team as Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) to drive the technical assistance work under GDF’s new 2016-2020 Strategy.
The RTAs will support National Tuberculosis (TB) Programs and Ministries of Health to strengthen medicines procurement and supply chains in a manner that not only builds national capacity, but also contributes to GDF’s global market-shaping goals. Being regionally based, the RTAs will be strategically positioned to collaborate with and provide technical leadership to donors and other technical agencies.
At a technical level, the RTAs will focus on optimizing national systems on medicines quantification, supply planning, early warning systems to ensure uninterrupted access to life-saving medicines and diagnostics. The RTAs will also work to ensure new medicines, regimens and diagnostics are introduced in countries as soon as new products are launched and new research findings are announced. GDF’s current efforts to expedite uptake of new medicines are focused on bedaquiline, delamanid, and new pediatric TB formulations - and will soon expand to support introduction of newly recommended, shorter regimens for multidrug-resistant TB as well as medicines to treat latent TB.
Maya Kavtaradze will focus her work on countries in the European region, including Central Asia. She is a medical doctor with infectious disease and public health specialties as well as 25 years of experience in managing TB programs supported by bilateral and multilateral agencies. Maya has worked extensively in the areas of TB pharmaceutical management and TB products procurement, supply chain management, rational use of medicines, and introduction of new TB medicines and regimens.
Zaza Munez will cover the South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions. She has more than a decade of experience working in TB. Before joining GDF, Zaza was a Senior Technical Advisor for Management Sciences for Health (MSH), where she supported the pharmaceutical management of national TB programs of several Asia-Pacific countries through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems and Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceutical and Services (SIAPS) projects. Before that, she was a senior pharmacist for the Tropical Disease Foundation where she set up and expanded the management of second-line anti-TB medicines in the Philippines. Zaza holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and a Master of Public Health from the University of the Philippines. She is currently working towards a Master of Development Economics.
Salama Mwatawala will cover countries in the African region. She is a pharmacist and public health specialist with 20 years of experience in private and public pharmaceutical sectors. She has been involved in managing several pharmaceuticals management programs related to HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB and other essential medicines as well as managing public health related projects funded by different donors including USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Swedish International Development Association. Prior to joining GDF, Salama worked as Senior Technical Manager for USAID-funded SIAPS Project implemented by MSH and served as regional technical advisor for TB pharmaceutical management in numerous countries.