The Independent State Institution, National AIDS Commission (NAC), has a new substantive Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She is Dr. Beatrice Lydia Matanje, an accomplished medical doctor and public health physician.
Dr. Matanje, who assumed her new role on 2nd October 2023, holds a bachelor’s degree of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the then University of Malawi’s College of Medicine (now Kamuzu University of Health Sciences—KUHeS), a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Epidemiology from University of Witwatersrand in the Republic of South Africa and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Global Health Implementation Programme from the School of Medicine at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom.
She worked as a District Health Officer between 2007 and 2011 before serving as a National Programme Manager for Malawi’s Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Programme at the Ministry of Health Headquarters, from 2012 to 2017, where she successfully coordinated multiple stakeholders and partners to establish a national NCD control program.
She later worked as a Medical Director for Lighthouse Trust for almost five years where she led technical programming and coordinated operations of centres of excellence for HIV prevention, treatment and care from February 2017 to July 2021.
She joins NAC from Partners In Health/Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo where she also worked as a Medical Director since August 2021. While at Partners In Health she provided strategic leadership for comprehensive integrated service delivery for HIV, NCDs, Mental Health and emerging public health threats, as one of her key responsibilities.
“I am pleased to join the Commission at this time when acceleration of efforts to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is our main goal as a nation. I expect to continue with my passion for policy and systems strengthening for integrated control of HIV and other chronic diseases, including NCDs and mental health disorders, as we strive to sustain the gains Malawi has made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, amidst other emerging public health threats,” she said during an introduction meeting with staff.
Dr. Matanje succeeds Dr. Andrew Gonani who served the Commission as Acting CEO since May 2019 on secondment from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where he was serving as a Hospital Director.
Dr. Gonani was engaged when NAC was transitioning from a Public Trust to an Independent State Institution established by the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Management) Act Number 9 of 2018. “I am leaving NAC as a happy and sad person. I am happy because I achieved the purpose for which I came here and sad because I had become a member of the NAC family such that leaving is like leaving one’s family. I will continue to be available for support when necessary and please support Dr. Matanje as you did with me. Let us keep in touch,” said Dr Gonani in his remarks to NAC staff.