Here is our topic for June,2017.
The 70th World Health Assembly ended nearly one month ago and left me feeling good for a number of reasons.
The first was the election of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia as the first African Director General of WHO. This was achieved in a closed session where three candidates vied for the votes of all member states by secret ballot unlike in the past years when the Executive Board of WHO submitted one name for endorsement by the WHA. Dr. Tedros, as the new Director General is generally known, won easily in three rounds of voting and is an excellent choice. Dr. Tedros has first-hand experience in running a national health system as a very successful Health Minister in Ethiopia.
As health minister, he was very popular among the global health initiatives where he served as chair on the Boards of these organizations such as Roil Back Malaria, and the Global Fund. His current job has been Foreign Minister of Ethiopia which has further exposed him to the world of global diplomacy. I have personally worked with Dr. Tedros in my days as Executive Director of GHWA where Ethiopia was a grantee as one of the 8 global Pathfinder countries on HRH development and later I was a Senior Adviser to the five-year Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health where Ethiopia was one of the five project countries. From this experience I can describe Dr. Tedros as human, caring and visionary. The WHO and the global community should look forward to the future of global health with hope and I wish Dr. Tedros every success. Should Africa expect anything special?