Prof Michael Mbizvo
|Dr Michael T. Mbizvo is Zambia Country Director for the Population Council, which he joined in 2014, covering the SADCC region and is also employed as a professor at the College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. He has been, until retirement on 28 Feb 2013, Director of WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), at its Geneva headquarters, which includes HRP, a cosponsored UNDP/UNICEF/ UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme for Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, WHO/HQ, Geneva. He supervised a large global staff complement, including Coordinators and Lead Specialists, in the areas of family planning, improving maternal and perinatal health, preventing unsafe abortion, controlling STIs/RTIs, sexual health, gender, reproductive rights and adolescents, and research capacity, policy and programme strengthening. As Director, he has managed a biennial budget of USD 84 million and a team of 110 scientific, research, medical and support staff. He has played a key role in advancing reproductive health and research capacity within the international development agenda, which has included development and implementation of innovative approaches to improve reproductive health globally, in particular in low and medium-income countries.
He joined WHO/HQ in 1996 as Manager, Male Reproductive Health Area (Andrology), which entailed, among others, managing the WHO Task Force on Male Fertility regulation and, on promotion, later became Coordinator, Technical Support to Countries, before joining the Office of the Director as Coordinator and Senior Scientist in 2000, and Director in 2009. He has been responsible for WHO's policy and strategic direction in sexual and reproductive health and its research oversight, which include development of contraceptives and other interventions for improving sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention and care. He has provided leadership in the development of strategies to enhance the application of results of reproductive health research in policy and programmes and improving the quality of and access to sexual and reproductive health care, as well as strengthening research capacity in developing countries. He coordinated the development of the WHO Global Reproductive Health Strategy, which involved all WHO regions, and was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2004. It is now a blue print for RHR and contributes to shaping its global research programming effort for improving sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Prior to joining WHO, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Zimbabwe Medical School, with specialist training in andrology and reproductive health epidemiology. On retirement from WHO in 2013, he resumed tenure with the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences where he is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. His responsibility amongst others has included supervising post-graduates medical students and implementing research to improve sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention. He has mentored postgraduate research fellows and interns, who have gone on to assume various roles in the areas of SRH and HIV. He was also a co-founder and faculty of the Wits University SRH/HIV and Gender course which trains postgraduates from across Africa. He has presented hundreds of scientific papers and published widely in various areas of sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, which include three books. Dr Mbizvo comes from Zimbabwe and undertook part of his postgraduate training in the USA (The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School), Australia (Monash University and Prince Henry Institute of Reproductive Medicine), Ireland (Galway University) and Sweden (Umea University).