3 Reasons Why Dr. Tedros Adhanom Should Be the Next WHO Director-General


3 Reasons Why Dr. Tedros Adhanom Should Be the Next WHO Director-General

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized United Nations (UN) entity that focuses and acts on international [public] health issues. WHO prioritizes ending and preventing epidemics, pandemics, communicable diseases (AIDs, Ebola, Malaria, etc.) and ray of other global health concerns. Elections for a new Director-General will take place on May 2017, during the 70th session of the WHO Assembly. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, the current Foreign Affairs Minister of Ethiopia, recently announced his candidature for the WHO Director-General post. There are many reasons to endorse and support Dr. Tedros Adhanom’s “Together for a Healthier World” campaign to lead the most funded and accomplished health organization — serving thousands of communities.

        Here are three important reasons why Dr. Tedros Adhanom should be the next WHO General-Director.

 1. Achievements

  • Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London (UK).
  • Ethiopia’s Current Foreign Affairs Minister.
  • Former Minister of Health (October 2005 – November 2012)
    • Transformed Ethiopia’s health system through a comprehensive agenda of reform
    • Reducing infant mortality, AIDs, etc.
    • Invested in Sustainable Infrastructure
    • Mobilized the health workforce and developing innovative funding mechanisms
    • Trained and integrated women into the health workforce
    • Expanded health access to care to millions of Ethiopia,
  • Former Chairman of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2009-2011)
  • Served on the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (2007-2009) and the Program Coordinating Board of UNAIDS (2009-2011), Co-Chaired The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (2005-2009), and as a board member for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Stop TB Partnership, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
  • Edited and co-authored numerous academic writings
    • More 25 articles in prominent scientific journals including Nature, The Lancet, the British Medical Journal and the Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology.
  • Tedros Adhanom has been endorsed by fellow politicians, international organizations, health institutes and many more.
  • Political and Health leadership of more than 30years


 2. Gender Mobilization

Women and girls experience health disparities and general disenfranchisement more than men, in every way and space possible. Whether She is in the London or Addis Ababa, in Nebraska or Ankara, women are often excluded from significant health movements, policies, devices, services and representation. How can governments or health establishments find a cure to cancer, reduce infant mortality rates, and prevent epidemics without incorporating and mobilizing women? Dr. Tedros, in a press release statement stated, “Women are the backbone of society, yet in too many cases, they remain the most underserved by our policies. If we’re going to improve the lives of all people, we have a clear responsibility to champion the rights of girls and women, and put them at the center of all the programs.” World Health Organization (WHO) needs a Director General who will prioritize the wellbeing and empowerment of women and girls in developing and developed countries. And developing and developed countries need gender-equality believing/practicing academics, like Dr. Tedros Adhanom, in lead positions of purposeful organizations.

 3. African Representation

The World Health Organization (WHO), so far, has had seven Director-Generals, most of them being male and from the Global North. There has never been a WHO African Director-General. With all the WHO campaigns that dominate or focus in Africa, it would only make sense to have Director-General who understands the health inequalities, healthcare complexities, lack of resources or health department funding and so on – not only from an expertise position but also from an experience stance. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, if and when elected as WHO Director-General, will represent Africa and emerging nations by engineering sustainable programs that will effectively bring transformation to health sectors across the world.

Of course, there are many other reasons to support the WHO candidate, Dr. Tedros Adhanom. For now, let’s just say, it’s about time WHO elects a Director-General who will mobilize and uplift women and girls, efficiently represent the global south and has the knowledge, merits and credibility.


By: Hafsa O. Mohamed


2 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why Dr. Tedros Adhanom Should Be the Next WHO Director-General

  1. Samson Abrha says:

    Hafsa, I concurred with your hard facts. Now is the time to give the opportunity for the best African candidate not only who fit the position but also makes difference to the world in general and to developing countries in particular. WHO needs a person who knew the ground reality.

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