Speech – Acceptance speech at the School of Management in Public Health, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu”
Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe
24 November 2016, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Your Highness, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
It is truly an honour to receive this token of high appreciation from you, which I gladly accept as recognition of the hard work that we as an organization have been doing in Member States worldwide, safeguarding the health and well-being of people. Behind this award, I think there are thousands of my colleagues seated in different parts of the world, working for different programmes and divisions. We do not always see their work, but still we benefit from their pool of knowledge and skill that results in evidence-based policy papers, strategies, guidelines or technical expertise.
I think I can also speak on behalf of all the people of the Republic of Moldova, who are directly or indirectly benefiting from a stronger public health system. Ultimately, everything that we do together with Member States and partners is for the sake of the people, as well as for the generations to come.
We grow our roots at the alma mater, which becomes our second home – we dedicate a good proportion of our life to studying the health sciences. I know you also worked hard to establish this wonderful education facility in the Republic of Moldova; proof of this is the School of Management in Public Health’s membership in the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region.
I stand here in front of you today vowing to continuously support the health values of humanity, to serve the best interests of our Member States and to make sure that every effort is made to leave no one behind. Health is a right, but also a responsibility for each and every one of us. We are responsible for our health, but also for the health of those who cannot overcome societal challenges on their own.
During our lives we often have to make choices. As health professionals, we made ours – to help other people. I am really proud of this choice e made. There are different ways to do this, and each has a role to play. We need to lead by example.
The Republic of Moldova has a special place in my heart. Now, having received this award, I have grown academic roots here as well.
Thank you again for this honour.