Ethiopian Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus elected new WHO Director-General

Members States of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday elected Ethiopian Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the UN health agency.

Dr. Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on July 1, 2017.

He will succeed Dr. Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s director general since January 1, 2007 and has completed her two five-year terms.

Prior to his election as WHO’s new Director-General, Dr. Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia from 2012-2016 and as Minister of Health from 2005-2012.

He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

The statement said as Minister of Health of Ethiopia, Dr. Ghebreyesus led a comprehensive reform effort of the country’s health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, creating 3,500 health centers and 16,000 health posts.

He also expanded the health workforce by 38,000 health extension workers and initiated financing mechanisms to expand health insurance coverage.

As Chair of the Global Fund and of RBM, Dr Ghebreyesus secured record funding for the two organizations and created the Global Malaria Action Plan, which expanded RBM’s reach beyond Africa to Asia and Latin America.

The incoming health chief was chosen among three nominees presented to the World Health Assembly, along with David Nabarro from the UK, and Sania Nishtar from Pakistan, in a process that began before September 2016.

In her final address as head of the organization, Dr. Chan on Monday urged WHO to “remember the people” behind the facts and figures, and took personal responsibility for the WHO’s delayed response in 2014 to the Ebola outbreak in East Africa.

Photo credit: WHO


Source PANA

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