New WHO chief – Ethiopian Dr Tedros – calls on AU as he assumes office

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Ismail Akwei

New World Health Organisation Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on the African Union before assuming office as the head of the United Nations agency.

The mandate of the former Ethiopian health and foreign minister officially began on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

The first African Director General paid a visit to the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat in Addis Ababa on Saturday before travelling to the Geneva-based office.

“Proud to see Dr Tedros before he takes office as WHO DG. He has Africa’s continued support to ensure health for all during his tenure,” Mahamat posted on social media on Sunday with pictures of the two in a meeting.

Proud to see Dr Tedros before he takes office as WHO DG. He has Africa’s continued support to ensure health for all during his tenure.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received immense support from the African Union after his nomination by his country to take up the position.

Moussa Faki Mahamat had said ahead of the election that “when Africa speaks with one voice, she wins. Africa is united for Dr. Tedros.”

51-year-old Tedros beat two other candidates after the election on May 23 at a meeting of the World Health Assembly – the WHO’s major decision making body – in Geneva, Switzerland.

He is the first non-physician to be elected to the post and first African in the nearly 70-years existence of the WHO.

His vision includes making the WHO strong and effective to meet emerging challenges and achieve the health objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants to “efficiently managed, adequately resourced and results driven, with a strong focus on transparency, accountability and value for money.”