Ethiopia’s candidate for Director-Generalship of World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, former Ethiopian foreign minister, enjoys strong backing from African countries.
Speaking about the qualification of the Ethiopian candidate, Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, has described Dr. Tedros as one of the best qualified individuals to lead the global agency.
She told The New Times on Monday that: “The upcoming WHO elections are important for Africa; we have the best qualified candidate in Dr. Tedros.”
“All African countries have united behind him, and Africa is ready to play its part in global health. For us in Rwanda, and for the larger eastern Africa, we feel proud and look forward to May 23.”
Uganda’s Minister of State for EAC affairs, Julius Maganda, praised Ethiopia’s former minister of health as “the best contender” to be the global health agency’s eighth director-general.
“We are very happy to see that we have got a candidate in Dr. Tedros. This is a very good candidature and we really support it as a region,” Maganda said.
Maganda said the most important thing is that if Dr Tedros wins, this “would definitely be serving Africa” because he will be the first African to lead the organisation in its 69-year history.
“So, we really support his candidature as Uganda, as a region in the East African Community, and as a neighbor of Ethiopia. I know that he is going to do much for Africa and the world as a whole.”
Dr. Tedros had outlined his five priorities for the organization, namely universal health coverage, health emergency preparedness, women, children and adolescents, health impacts on climate and environmental change, and creating a transformed WHO that is effectively managed, adequately resourced, results-focused and responsive, The New Times said.
“I would like my legacy to be the Director-General who brought the world together to achieve universal health coverage that is equitable and affordable for all. I believe that access to health is a human right,” Dr. Tedros said.
He stated that “the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa report that came out last year by WHO and others noted that 11 million Africans are falling into poverty every year due to high out of pocket payments. That is unacceptable. I am convinced that UHC, with strong primary care and essential financial protection, is the key to overcoming global health security threats and to avoiding impoverishment.”
If elected, he said, he will strengthen coordination and information flows between the Secretariat, the regional offices, including the Regional Office for Africa, and the country offices.
Dr. Tedros pointed out that he will also seek to develop a more diverse, inclusive, and effective health workforce at global, regional, and country office level, and work with member states to introduce a human resource reform for fair representation of all regions and countries at the Secretariat.
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