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Africa Poises For Top WHO Post-As Dr. Tedros Tipped As Favourite

 The former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, has been tipped as the next Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the numerous endorsements from Africa and other Asian and Western nations.

At the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 21-31, member states will vote in a new Director-General for the United Nation’s leading health agency, who is expected to take office on July 1.


If elected, Dr. Tedros said he will seek to strengthen coordination and information flows between the secretariat, the regional offices, including the regional office for Africa, and the country offices.


The former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and an internationally recognized malaria researcher said he will also seek to develop a more diverse, inclusive, and effective health workforce at global, regional, and country office levels, and work with member states to introduce a human resource reform for fair representation of all regions and countries at the secretariat.


Tedros joined the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia in 1986, after graduating from the University of Asmara. As an internationally recognized malaria researcher and Minister of Health, he received several praises for a number of innovative and system-wide health reforms that substantially improved access to health services and key outcomes in his country.


Amongst several reforms, Dr. Tedros implemented were the hiring and training roughly of 40,000 female health extension workers, thus cutting infant mortality from 123 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2006 to 88 in 2011, and increasing the hiring of health cadres including medical doctors and midwives.


In July 2009, he was elected Board Chair of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a position he diligently served for a 2-year term.


The candidature of Dr. Tedros, an internationally recognized malaria researcher and former Chairperson of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, was endorsed by the entire continent during  a January 2016 Summit of Heads of States held in Ethiopia.


In November 2012, Tedros was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. In January 2016 at the Twenty Sixth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, Tedros was endorsed as Africa’s sole candidate for the next election of the Director General of the World Health Organisation.


Tedros, as Ethiopia’s Health Minister between 2005 and 2012, hugely expanded healthcare in one of the world’s most difficult countries (Ethiopia); he created 3,500 health centres, while dramatically expanding the healthcare workforce. He built more medical schools and deployed nearly 40,000 community-based health workers across the country.


Speaking to the New Times on Monday, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Spokesperson for government, Louise Mushikiwabo, described Dr Tedros as one of the best qualified individuals to lead the global agency.


She told The New Times on Monday that: “The upcoming WHO elections are important for Africa; because the continent has got one of the best qualified candidates, Dr Tedros.


“All African countries have united behind him, and Africa is ready to play its part in global health. For us in Rwanda, and for the larger eastern Africa, we feel proud and look forward to May 23,” she vowed.


Also backing the candidacy of  Dr. Tedros, Uganda’s Minister of State for EAC Affairs, Julius Maganda, praised the former Ethiopia’s Minister of Health  thus describing him as ‘‘the best contender” to be the global health agency’s eighth Director-General post.


He added: “We are very happy to see that we have got a candidate in Dr Tedros. This is a very good candidature and we really support it as a region,” Maganda said.


In January, WHO’s Executive Board drew up a shortlist of five candidates – Dr Tedros, Dr Sania Nishtar, 53, of Pakistan, Dr David Nabarro , 67, of the UK, Prof. Philippe Douste-Blazy, 64, of France and Dr Flavia Bustreo, 55, of Italy.


Out of the five candidates shortlisted, only three persons including Drs. Tedros, Nabarro and Nishtar, were selected by vote to proceed to the final vote by the World Health Assembly, the supreme decision-making body for WHO.


The next WHO Chief Executive will take over from Dr Margaret Chan, a Hong Kong Chinese and Canadian physician, who was first appointed in 2006, and whose second term ends June 30.





1 reply
  1. Alem
    Alem says:

    It is interesting and worrying that Bill Gates, Jeffrey Sachs, Kaiser are bent on getting Dr. Tedros Adhanom as the next WHO DG. The only way Dr. Tedros will get the job would be if WHO failed in its duty to check Tedros’s background, record, and qualification. Tedros is a politburo member of Ethiopia’s brutal and hated ruling party; he was appointed Minister of Health two years after earning his doctorate with literally no experience in running a national agency. His tenure and attempt at reorganizing Health resulted in missing funds and massive corruption. The evidence is all in public domain. If you care to know follow government reports closely. Gates and Sachs know this very well. Tedros was then appointed to Foreign Affairs, his only experience being his stay in Britain for five years as a foreign student. His two appointments were despite the fact that there were more qualified Ethiopians but not of the right ethnicity and party. Gates has had deep and worrying interest in population control [and Tedros as Health Minister] was very compliant for what some have said [with evidence] is a hidden ethnic politics of controlling rival ethnic groups. Sachs has been working in Ethiopia [in Tedros’s region] to teach villagers how to create and run a village thus bringing in disproportionate funding to the region rather than to where the most need is. Bribable Africans are yet what could corrupt the voting pattern. So what could Tedros bring to the table? Not the efficient running of an international organization but himself as tool in the hands of powerful individuals [Sachs and Gates] and Kaiser, all bent on promoting a global agenda. If we think the world is run on fairness and a sense of justice we fool ourselves and we have not been listening to why or how a Macron or a Trump simply appear from nowhere to rule the world. Even when it is public knowledge the individuals are incompetent and tools in the hands of the powerful.

    This should not mean we as a community could not stop such from forcing us to live on crumbs. That Dr. Tedros could pay an American PR agency tens of thousands of dollars and overnight turn into an advocate for human rights, health, and global cooperation is simply laughable. Charity begins at home; Tedros’s record is dismal to say the least. May I refer you to Tedros’s handling of 150,000 young women thrown out of Saudi Arabia four years ago. Can anyone tell us where those women are today? Or the killing last year of over 1,000 citizens and the jailing of 26,000 simply for protesting against forceful evacuation from their ancestral land? Interestingly, the UN’s request to investigate recent atrocities committed by Tedros and his party was refused. How would you explain the fact that a country whose leaders are known for massive corruption and human rights abuses would finance and send a politburo member as their candidate?

    Final thought: Everything we know about Tedros is provided us by the ruling party he is a member of and repackaged by a US-based PR agency at the cost of tens of thousands paid from state treasury. Ethiopia virtually has no free press.

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