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Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus To Be Next Director-General Of WHO

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will be the next Director-General of the World Health organization. He 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. The announcement was made at the ongoing World Health Assembly at Geneva.

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, a WHO statement said. 

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 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.

As Chair of the Global Fund and of RBM, Dr Tedros Adhanom 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.

Welcoming the choice, Women Deliver has said his appointment comes at a time when the world needs a fierce and proactive advocate for gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women more than ever.

“Dr Tedro’s track record of strengthening health systems and training community-based female health workers to expand reproductive and maternal health in Ethiopia, including family planning services, gives us hope that he will be the unwavering champion for girls and women the global development community wants and needs, Throughout his campaign, he pledged to make the health of women, children, and adolescents a focus of his tenure.

“The world’s most powerful health agency needs a leader who advocates for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights as a net positive for all. He must consistently prioitise girls and women as powerful agents of change and drivers of development. Equally important, he must strengthen the WHO’s gender balance and engagement with young people and civil society not just because of it is the right thing to do, but the sound thing to do,’’ said Katja Iversen, president/CEO of Women Deliver.

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