South African women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health specialist, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, has been confirmed as a leading global expert on health by the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Dr Mofokeng now holds the title of Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health.

The appointment was made by the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The news was confirmed by South Africa’s Ambassador to Geneva Nozipho-Mxakato-Diseko, who tweeted that it was a moment of pride for her country and the continent.

Special Rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific country situation or a special human rights theme.

The United Nations views the right to health as an inclusive one that extends not only to timely and appropriate healthcare, but also to the underlying determinants of health such as access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and access to health-related education including sexual and reproductive health.

Special Rapporteur mandates generally last three years and can be renewed for an additional three years.

Dr Mofokeng will present annual reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly on the activities she has undertaken.