During his first term, Dr. Tedros guided WHO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ongoing. He also led responses to the Ebola and Measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which lasted for more than one year.
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organisation
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has bounced back as the Director-General of the World Health Organisation following his re-election by the WHO assembly. The 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva confirmed Tedros' re-election on Tuesday. He was the sole candidate for the job.
The election has brought to an end a process that started in 2021 when member states were asked to submit the names of proposed candidates. During his first term, Dr. Tedros guided WHO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ongoing. He also led responses to the Ebola and Measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which lasted for more than one year.
He is also believed to have instituted a wide-ranging transformation of the WHO, aimed at increasing the Organization’s efficiency and driving impact at the country level to promote healthier lives, protect more people in emergencies, and increase equitable access to health. Dr. Tedros' new mandate officially commences on August 16, 2022, and this will be his last term to serve in this capacity as the World Health Assembly rules and procedures dictate that a serving director-general can only be re-appointed once.
An Ethiopian by descent, Dr. Tedros will serve for another five years in this capacity. He was first elected to lead the UN health agency in 2017 after Margaret Chan from the People's Republic of China. Prior to his appointment to the WHO, Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia's Foreign Affairs Minister from 2012 to 2016 and Health Minister from 2005 to 2012.
He had also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board. He was also the co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. During his next term, one of the issues that the director-general will have to tackle is to find a way to make the UN health agency more self-reliant.
At the moment, the organization is run by voluntary donations from member states and donors, something that experts have called unreliable as the organization will likely have to handle more disease epidemics in the future. To be able to get unsustainable sources of income, reports show that the health organization has been working on recommendations to have all member states pay a fixed contribution.
During the ongoing Health Assembly, this is an issue that member states, Uganda inclusive are supposed to discuss.