This week the Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of WHO. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007. He is the first African to hold this position. The following information it taken from his CV and candidate’s statement for the position.
Prior to his election as WHO’s next Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia 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.
As Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus led a comprehensive reform effort of the country’s health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, creating 3500 health centres and 16 000 health posts; expanded the health workforce by 38 000 health extension workers; and initiated financing mechanisms to expand health insurance coverage.
Dr Tedros has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Community Health from the University of Nottingham, UK, a Master of Science in the Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London and a Bachelor of Science from Asmara University, Eritrea. ON his CV he lists his hobbies as reading, world history, and traveling to experience diverse cultures.
Vision for WHO
In his candidate’s statement Dr Tedros stated:
“I envision a world where everyone can lead healthy and productive lives, regardless of who they are or where they live. Achieving this will require a stronger and reformed WHO that belongs to all of us equally, and that is efficiently managed, adequately resourced and results-driven – with a strong focus on transparency, accountability and value for money. As Director-General, I will:
- Put people first;
- Place health at the centre of the global agenda; and
- Engage countries and strengthen partnerships to deliver results.
I will focus on five leadership priorities:
- A Transformed WHO: Building WHO into a more effective, transparent and accountable agency that is independent, science and innovation-based, results-focused and responsive.
- Health for All: Advancing universal health coverage and ensuring all people can access the health services they need without risk of impoverishment.
- Health Security: Strengthening the capacity of national authorities and local communities to detect, prevent and manage health emergencies, including antimicrobial resistance.
- Women, Children and Adolescents: Putting the well-being of women, children and adolescents at the centre of global health and development.
- Health Impacts of Climate and Environmental Change: Supporting national health authorities to better understand and address the effects of climate and environmental change on health.”
Reaction to the election
The following are some of the tweets responding to Dr Tedros’s election.
— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) May 23, 2017
— Helen Clark (@HelenClarkNZ) May 23, 2017
— Meaza G. (@Meazit_) May 23, 2017
— Tedros Adhanom (@DrTedros) May 24, 2017
— WomenInGlobalHealth (@womeninGH) May 23, 2017
— Roll Back Malaria (@RollBackMalaria) May 23, 2017
— Olusoji Adeyi (@SojiAdeyi) May 23, 2017
— Filippo Grandi (@RefugeesChief) May 23, 2017
— The BMJ (@bmj_latest) May 23, 2017