Malaria Consortium welcomes the newly elected Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was elected during the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva this week. Dr Tedros succeeds Dr Margaret Chan who steps down after completing two five year terms.
Dr Tedros has a long and accomplished career in public and international health. He previously served as the Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health as well as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria Board.
Dr Tedros’ campaign for the post largely focused on the achievement of universal health coverage and received wide support around the world, including an endorsement from the African Union. He also strongly supports strengthening health systems and partnerships across countries, increasing transparency, championing the voices of people and communities and addressing the health implications of climate change.
“I have worked alongside Dr Tedros for many years in the Ethiopian malaria and other vector-borne diseases control programme,” said Malaria Consortium’s Senior Technical Specialist Dr Tarekegn Abeku. “He will bring a rich experience and unreserved commitment to support efforts to tackle tropical diseases and health problems.”
While serving as the Minister of Health Dr Tedros contributed to a drastic decline in deaths from malaria and neonatal health issues. He supported the hiring of over 40,000 female health workers and oversaw a 10-fold increase in medical school graduates.
WHO plays an important role in the control, elimination and eradication of diseases including neglected tropical diseases, which the outgoing Director General, Dr Chan, highlighted during her valedictory speech. “The resolutions WHO adopt shape the health situation, especially by raising the profile of neglected problems,” she said. WHO’s record-breaking work over the last years “promises to eliminate many of these ancient diseases in the very near future”.
Malaria Consortium thanks Dr Chan for her enormous contribution to global health and looks forward to continuing our work with Dr Tedros. Through partnership and ongoing collaboration we can achieve universal health coverage and accelerate progress towards defeating malaria and other communicable diseases among vulnerable populations.