Reproductive Health Champion to lead WHO
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, has been elected Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). A former Minister of Health in Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros also previously served as Board Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The election represents the first time that all member states participated in the selection of the next WHO leader.
In campaigning for the position, Dr. Tedros committed to placing the well-being of women, children and adolescents at the center of his agenda. “We will only be able to realize the ambitious health and development targets set forth by the Sustainable Development Goals if we make sexual and reproductive health and rights a top priority on the global health and sustainable development agendas. WHO must work alongside governments and regional organizations – in close collaboration with civil society, private sector, other UN agencies, donors and other key stakeholders – to drive the global sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda so that women, men and young people can access the full range of sexual and reproductive health services of their choice.”
His campaign platform included five objectives: 1) advance universal health coverage; 2) promote global health security by strengthening the capacity of national authorities and local communities to detect, prevent, and manage health emergencies; 3) strengthen the frontlines of health through country ownership; 4) transform the WHO into a world-class workforce, placing accountability, transparency and continuous improvement at its core; and 5) support national health authorities to better understand and address the health effects of climate and environmental change.
Dr. Tedros will begin his 5-year term as Director-General on July 1.