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Why support Dr Tedrosí candidacy for the post of WHO Director-General

Why support Dr Tedrosí candidacy for the post of WHO Director-General

Million Beyene 05-18-17

Many countries, organisations and prominent individuals have expressed their views in support of Dr Tedrosí candidacy for the position of WHO Director-General. The African union has officially and unanimously supported him. The Caribbean and Pacific countries have, likewise, declared their endorsement. Very many Asian, European and North and South American countries are for him. The question is why is it that he has been able to garner so much support by so many.

Africa is not solidly behind Dr Tedros just because he is from Africa. The Caribbean and Pacific countries are not supporting him just †because he is from an ACP country.† Again Ethiopia is not putting him forward for this post because he is from Ethiopia.† Many support his candidacy because they are impressed with this manís philosophy and track record which demonstrates competence, talent and wisdom. Thatís why Dr Tedros was able to get the votes of the great majority of the WHO Council members in Geneva in its first round of screening, effectively making him by far the strongest candidate of the three short-listed.†

Although we do understand that many Asian, African, Caribbean and Pacific countries face comparatively much greater challenges in the provision of public health services, there is no question that the developed countries of the world also have their own fair share of the problem. A suitable candidate, wherever they come from, should cherish the principle of a global view with a balanced approach promoting understanding and cooperation. They should work hard to ensure that together we build a better world for all. It is this kind of world outlook that Dr Tedros is endowed with and that he is offering to all of us.

Just a few highlights of the qualities of this person.

The world has witnessed Ethiopia achieving nearly all the targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Prominent in this success story was the achievement in the health sector relating to combating HIV AIDS, malaria and other diseases, improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. As† a shining example of the results of hard work, Life Expectancy in Ethiopia rose from 45 years in 2000 to more than 65 years in 2015.† As Minister of Health then, Dr Tedrosí contribution to this excellent performance was immense, although one understands that a lot more needs to be done to register even better results with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr Tedros has this rare talent of convincing people, leading and coordinating an organisation and working with others towards the attainment of specified goals. As Ethiopiaís Minister of Foreign Affairs, he successfully brought together in Addis Ababa all 193 UN member countries to negotiate and agree on a global partnership for implementing the SDGs (the Addis Ababa Action Agenda), an important component of which are targets in public health.

Dr Tedros played a critical role in the development of Ethiopiaís health package consisting of policies and strategies for implementation including the training of over 40000 health extension workers, the great majority being women, for the rural areas as part of integrated rural development.

Dr Tedros did his Masters and PhD in public health in Britain. He has travelled extensively and attended in various countries numerous workshops and conferences which, no doubt, have contributed immensely to his understanding of, among other political and economic matters, global health problems and challenges. This has also enabled him to meet with world leaders in Developing as well as Developed countries and to create networks and links with institutions, researchers and professionals across the globe. †In the process he has received certificates of recognition of his contribution.

With this kind of background and readiness and dedication to serve, the world has no better choice than this competent, talented and wise person to lead the WHO.† He can bring North and South, East and West, all countries together to help build a better world for all of us. That is why we support his candidacy.

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