World Health Organisation Dr Tedros becomes first African elected as DG of the WHO

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia will succeed Dr Margaret Chan who completes her tenure on June 30, 2017.

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Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) have elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the organisation.

He competed for the position with British global health expert Dr David Nabarro and a Pakistani cardiologist and expert in noncommunicable diseases Dr Sania Nishtar.

Dr Sania Nishtar was eliminated after she polled 38 in the first round of the election.

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Subsequently, the health ministers from the 185 member states voted and Dr Tedros who received an overwhelming support from health ministers across the globe polled 121 votes to win the election.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia will succeed Dr Margaret Chan.

play Ethiopia's Tedros Adhanom, centre, after addressing delegates at the World Health Organization assembly in Geneva on Tuesday (AFP)

 

Dr Margaret Chan ends her decade-long tenure on June 30, 2017. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.

READ ALSO: Reform on the menu as organisation votes for new chief

Prior to his election as WHO’s next Director-General, he had 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.

Director General of WHO Dr Margaret Chan play

Director General of WHO Dr Margaret Chan

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As Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, creating 3,500 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.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, he led the effort to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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