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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus becomes first African to be elected as WHO Director-General

May 24, 2017 09:14 IST

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus becomes first African to be elected as WHO Director-GeneralThe World Health Assembly on 23 May 2017 elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ethiopia’s Ghebreyesus will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.

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

About Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Prior to being elected as WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012 to 2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005 to 2012.

In January 2016, the twenty-sixth ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union endorsed his candidature for the next election of the Director-General of the UN health agency as a sole African candidate.

He also served as Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

As Minister of Health, Ethiopia, he led a comprehensive reform effort of the country's health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure.

As a 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.

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About World Health Organisation

The World Health Organization is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.

It was established on 7 April 1948.

The agency is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

The constitution of the WHO had been signed by 61 countries on 22 July 1946, with the first meeting of the World Health Assembly finishing on 24 July 1948.

It is also responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day.

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