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Richard Mpela Phungwayo

Richard Mpela Phungwayo: National coordinator for Public Sector Workplace Program, Swaziland

Swaziland is faced with a high prevalence of HIV, non communicable diseases, malnutrition and poverty which impact on the performance of public service delivery. The civil service has created a new department to address the health and welfare of its employees and to enhance public service delivery.

The School of Public Health at Curtin was revelation to me. I gained the necessary skills in PUBLIC HEALTH, including health promotion, and the importance of nutrition on public health and applying research to develop evidence based programs to deal with health challenges in Swaziland. This knowledge was invaluable when I tabled my vision on what the new unit must do in January 2009. This vision resulted in my appointment as the National coordinator for Public Sector Workplace Program. This new program goes across all ministries in the government and my duties include briefing the Minister of Public Service and the Head of Civil Service. I report to the principal secretary, chair of a board comprised of all principal secretaries and under-secretaries across the civil service. The School of Public Health at Curtin has given me the ability to make a difference in my country.