Who for WHO? Dr Tedros, That’s who!
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, May 25, 2017
The whole world is excited for Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to lead the WHO
Dr Tedros Adhanom has been elected to be the next and first African Director General (DG) of the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO). The election process was conducted in an open and democratic way where 133 out of 186 Health Ministers from various countries cast their votes to the incoming DG. His nearest British rival, who was a Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General, could only muster 50 votes.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus secured the candidacy for Africa owing to his impressive track record which he gained during his 7 years stint as Ethiopia’s Health Minister. The New York Times’ report on 23 May 2017 stated that, Dr Tedros ‘’is best known for having drastically cut deaths from malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and neonatal problems when he was Ethiopia’s health minister. He trained 40,000 female health workers, hired outbreak investigators, improved the national laboratory, organised an ambulance system and oversaw a tenfold increase in medical school graduates.’’
Dr Tedros also received glowing endorsements from Bill Gates, Presidents Bush and Clinton, and many other globally known health professionals. The former Ethiopian minister was elected on merit, and his selection to manage the UN agency which has 7000 employees and $2.2 billion annual budget, was in no way a ‘politically correct’ move intended to appease Africa.
It is beyond a shadow of doubt that Dr Tedros is the best man for the job; and in the not too distant future, he will have the opportunity to show what he is made of when he sets out to restore the World Health Organisation’s reputation that was stained as a result of its blunder in responding to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Ethiopia’s economic resurgence and diplomatic clout, which it acquired since the incumbent government came to power, also made it possible for Dr Tedros to be picked as Africa’s contender for the post of Director General of the World Health Organisation. It was also the successful Horn nation that was chosen by African heads of state to represent the continent at the UN’s climate change conference in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban under the leadership of the late Premier Meles. Ethiopia, which was nearly down and out only a few decades ago, has now reached a stage where it can shoulder the responsibility of representing and defending Africa’s interest at large international conferences organised by developed nations.
Ethiopia’s rise from the ashes to join the elite of economic performers has brought it to the notice of the world at large. Other facets that have made similar contributions to the country’s eminence include its contribution to the UN’s peace keeping missions in Liberia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Darfur and Abyei. In addition, Ethiopia is the seat of the African Union where it invariably hosts conferences attended by thousands of people from the continent and far afield with no security hitches.
It is also the home of the largest self-financing hydro-power plant which has seized the attention of fellow Africans and the international community. The Horn nation is likewise the proud owner of the flag carrier, Ethiopian, which is dominating Africa and competing with the best in the world, and this has significantly increased the visibility of the nation in the world. Ethiopia’s transformation is in- its- infancy, and in the not too distant future, it will work its way into becoming the focal point of Africa.
Dr Tedros’s appointment has made many Ethiopians as well as other Africans ecstatic, and with time, his selection as the DG of WHO is bound to catapult his country’s prominence to new heights. No doubt a minority of the Diaspora extremists, who waged a concerted campaign opposing his candidacy, will be in out-and- out rage but this is to be expected from quislings that are loyally serving the enemies of their own nation.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom elected as the New Director General of to lead the World Health Organization on Tuesday May 23, 2017 in Gene