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Ghebreyesus, first African, elected WHO Director General

*I will stand up for the rights of the poor

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia will be the next director general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He will be the first African to head up the UN agency, after winning the most votes from 186 member states.

He replaces Margaret Chan, who will step down from her 10-year post at the end of June.

During her tenure, the WHO’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was criticised for being too slow.

The agency was accused of missing key warning signs about the severity of the outbreak that began in December 2013 and ultimately killed more than 11,000 people.

Addressing the World Health Assembly shortly before the vote, Dr Tedros promised to respond to future emergencies “rapidly and effectively”.

He also promised to stand up for the rights of the poor. As an African, this will certainly have been the biggest bill board for his campaign given the impact of the poverty in the region, Latin America and part of Asia. This eans a whole lot  of hope for the continent.

“All roads should lead to universal health coverage. I will not rest until we have met this.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is an Ethiopian politician, academic, and public health authority who served in the government of Ethiopia as Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016.

He was born on the 3rd March 1965 (age 52) in Asmara, Eritrea.

He attended University of Nottingham, University of Asmara, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

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