After a long and tense campaign for the top job of the World Health Organisation – WHO, former Ethiopian health minister Dr Teros Adhanom Gdhebreyesus has emerged its first ever director-general from Africa.
Dr Tedros beat the British candidate, Dr David Nabarro and Pakistan’s Dr Sania Nishtar after three tense rounds of voting on Tuesday, reports Guardian.
The election was held at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
Dr Tedros is well-regarded, particularly by aid donors, for his stewardship of health in the Ethiopian government from 2005 to 2012.
The campaign to lead the WHO has been long and hard fought. It began with the nominations of six candidates in September last year. The first one to fall by the wayside in January, when the WHO’s executive board selected the finalists, was the Hungarian former health minister Dr Miklós Szócska, followed swiftly by Italy’s Dr Flavia Bustreo and France’s Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy.
The new director-general will have to struggle for more financial stability to contend with, as member states have been reluctant to give the UN organisation core funding and much of its income has been tied to specific projects, giving it less flexibility.