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June 15, 2021
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Ethiopia FM Tedros Adhanom among six running to be next WHO leader

edros Adhanom, Ethiopia’s minister of foreign affairs and former minister of health, is seen at a news conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, May 24, 2016

Ethiopia’s foreign minister and previous health minister, Tedros Adhanom, has thrown his hat into the ring as Africa’s first and only candidate for the post of director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Six international health experts, including four from Europe, are to compete to become the next director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) after its current leader Margaret Chan ends her tenure next June.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia is the only candidate from Africa in line to become the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Among the six candidates running for the post, four are from Europe and one is from Pakistan.

The WHO, which was established as a United Nations specialized agency nearly 70 years ago, has never had a director-general from Africa. Tedros hopes to break that mold and promises to wage a vigorous campaign to achieve that goal.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom has been serving as the Minster of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia since 2012 and previously he served as Ministry of Health of Ethiopia from 2005-2012. He joined the Ministry of Health in 1986, after graduating from Asmara University, then part of Ethiopia. According to his biography, he is an internationally recognized malaria researcher. As Minister of Health, Dr. Tedros received praise for a number of innovative and system-wide health reforms that substantially improved access to health services and key outcomes. Among them were hiring and training roughly 40,000 female health extension workers, 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.

Below is the full candidates list

  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Ethiopia
  • Dr Flavia Bustreo Italy
  • Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy France
  • Dr David Nabarro, United Kingdom
  • Dr Sania Nishtar, Pakistan
  • Dr Miklós Szócska, Hungary

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