New Novartis South Africa CEO to continue building on partnerships

New country CEO Dr. Mahomed (Mo) Kadwa to replace Dr. Thomas Kowallik

Novartis South Africa aims to continue building on local partnerships and health development initiatives, following the appointment of Dr. Mahomed (Mo) Kadwa as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer: Novartis South Africa and Head: Southern African Countries.

Dr. Kadwa takes over from Dr. Thomas Kowallik, who led the organization in the Southern African region for the past three years and will be moving on to a new assignment within Novartis in Europe.  Prior to this appointment, Dr. Kadwa was Chief Scientific Officer (CSO): Africa Cluster for Novartis and in 2016, he took on the additional responsibility of Head of Operations for Africa Cluster.

He completed his degree in medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand after which he undertook postgraduate studies in management and a Master’s in Business Administration in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Before joining Novartis, he spent the majority of his career as a practicing physician in the South African public health sector. He has served Novartis initially in medical roles of increasing responsibility in South Africa, moved to Basel, Switzerland within the company’s global drug development & medical affairs function to oversee the hypertension therapy area. He then assumed Regional Medical responsibilities for several therapy areas across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African countries (AMAC) before joining the Africa Cluster.

In his new role, Dr. Kadwa will be based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He will bring continuity on the work done to step up partnerships designed to improve patient care in Southern Africa. These initiatives include building on the landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Novartis, the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in 2017, and supporting numerous clinical trials and healthcare professional education and scientific capability building initiatives in Southern Africa.

“While Novartis has a proud tradition of investment in R&D and capability building within the South African healthcare and pharmaceutical space, we are aiming even higher in the years to come,” says Dr. Kadwa. “We believe that with our ongoing support, the local sector could pioneer breakthrough treatments to address key healthcare challenges.

“In line with this focus, we are also increasing our efforts to support healthcare professional capability development, both in South Africa and in the region. With a population of over one billion and growing fast, the continent is an important focus for us in our efforts to improve patient care worldwide,” says Dr Kadwa.

Novartis is currently the third-largest multinational healthcare company on the continent. Novartis South Africa, with three divisions across Pharma – Innovative Medicines, Sandoz and Alcon, has been active in South Africa for over 70 years, and within that time has developed a strong clinical trial footprint in the country. As part of its efforts to support improved patient care, the company is training and developing internal teams and healthcare providers in Africa through a broad portfolio of development initiatives. Novartis invests in scientific capability development as part of an integrated strategy to strengthen healthcare systems in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC). The 2016 Access to Medicines Index committee acknowledges the company as an industry leader in capacity development for the comprehensive and innovative approach that consistently addresses local needs.