Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Election For Next WHO Director General

Financial Times: The challenge that awaits a new leader of the WHO
Editorial Board

“…[W]hen officials gather in Geneva this week to select a new leader for the U.N. agency, they should take their vote seriously: the outcome matters deeply. … [U]nless the new director general is able to overhaul the WHO’s sclerotic bureaucracy, focus its work on priorities, and stand up to national governments and industry lobbies, the agency’s role will gradually dwindle. … Unless [the new leader tackles certain] challenges, the agency’s government funders may lose faith and cut financial support. That would increase its unhealthy dependence on a few backers such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It could also trigger some countries to turn inwards or build up bilateral networks, which do not always serve the global interest. Whichever candidate is elected, governments should hold the winner to account and offer him or her the support they will need to deliver” (5/21).

Huffington Post: This World Health Organization Leadership Election Is Crucial, And It’s Getting Ugly
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania

“…The race has boiled down to a contest between Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia and Dr. David Nabarro of Britain. … [Last week,] Larry Gostin of Georgetown Law School, a frequent WHO consultant and prominent global health scholar, released an unsubstantiated charge against Tedros. He claimed Tedros and the Ethiopian government covered up cholera outbreaks going back to 2006, calling them acute watery diarrhea. … It is unclear why a decade-old charge was launched only in the waning days of the WHO campaign. … Whatever the basis of Gostin’s charge, all global health experts agree that because of the community health care workers and other programs initiated by Tedros, Ethiopia has made dramatic improvements in infant and maternal mortality, malaria mortality, immunization rates, and childhood nutrition. … We should not let rumor and political ‘dirty tricks’ launched without time for careful consideration to sway such an important vote. It is finally time for an African — especially one of Tedros’ tremendous achievements — to head the WHO” (5/19).

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