Source: News Bharati English24 May 2017 12:08:29

Geneva, May 24: The former health minister of Ethiopia Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been elected the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Ethiopian Government had recommended Dr Ghebreyesus for the top post and he will begin his 5-year term on July 1.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia. 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.

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.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007.

Meanwhile, the 70th World Health Assembly opened in Geneva on Monday. Some 3,500 delegates from WHO’s 194 Member States – including a large proportion of the world’s health ministers - are attending the Health Assembly, which ends on 31 May.