Ethiopia’s Tedros to be next leader of UN health agency

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Africa, where viruses such as HIV, Ebola and Zika emerged, has its first chief of the U.N. health agency.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian minister of health, was elected Tuesday as the next director-general of the World Health Organization, becoming the first non-medical doctor and the first African tapped to lead an influential agency that helps set health priorities worldwide.

Health ministers and other senior envoys to WHO’s annual World Health Assembly elected Tedros over Dr. David Nabarro of Britain, a U.N. veteran, in a third and final round of voting. Tedros received 133 votes to Nabarro’s 50, with two abstentions. The third candidate, Pakistan’s Dr. Sania Nishtar, was eliminated in the first round of voting.

Tedros will become the eighth director-general of the U.N. agency founded in 1948, and the first elected in a competitive race before the full assembly. Previous WHO chiefs were selected by the agency’s executive board, and the assembly’s approval was essentially a rubber stamp.

Source: ABC News (link opens in a new window)

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