Media Outlets Discuss WHO DG Campaign As Organization Prepares To Hold Election Next Week

International Business Times: Who is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia’s candidate to lead the World Health Organization?
“Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the Ethiopian candidate to become the next director general of the World Health Organization. He previously served as minister of health of Ethiopia, where he was responsible for a comprehensive health system reform. Later on, he was appointed minister of foreign affairs from 2012-2016, a position which gave him valuable diplomatic experience. He also served as the chair on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria board. He talked to IBTimes U.K. just as he entered his final month of campaigning to become the next director general of the World Health Organization…” (Surugue, 5/18).

Intellectual Property Watch: Attacks On WHO Candidate Are Defamatory, ‘Colonial,’ Ambassador Says
“The African Union delegation to the United Nations came in outspoken numbers to a press briefing [Wednesday] to express unshakable support for the Ethiopian candidate to be the next head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Asked about recent allegations in the press about Tedros’ part in a coverup of cholera epidemics in his country, the African ambassadors said those were defamatory allegations, done in desperation by a nervous competing candidate. Without citing which of the other two candidate[s] that might be, an African ambassador said such attempt at destabilizing the candidate reflects a ‘colonial mentality.’ Tedros, as he is known, was not at the press briefing…” (Saez, 5/17).

Quartz: The lead candidate for the world’s top health job is being accused of covering up deadly epidemics
“…Such allegations could undermine the WHO candidacy of Dr. Tedros. During a preliminary vote in January, he garnered the most number of votes, and will now contest for the job along with Dr. David Nabarro from Britain, and Dr. Sania Nishtar from Pakistan. … Dr. Tedros has denied all the allegations saying that Dr. Nabarro’s supporters have a ‘typical colonial mindset aimed at winning at any cost and discrediting a candidate from a developing country.’ … Criticism aside, Dr. Tedros is credited with transforming his country’s health system, improving the response to outbreaks, and slashing HIV infection and child mortality rates. His candidacy has been supported by the African Union, Ethiopian health professional associations, and influential figures like the philanthropist Tony Elumelu, and the immediate former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Tom Frieden…” (Dahir, 5/18).

Washington Post: Ethiopia’s candidate for the World Health Organization doesn’t like mentioning a certain disease
“…On Tuesday, the [Office of the Prime Minister] issued a statement carried on Tedros’s website that said: ‘We are working to establish robust surveillance systems for critical diseases … acute watery diarrheal diseases including cholera is of course included in this effort.’ The statement went on to praise Tedros’s tenure as health minister and noted that ‘despite hosting the largest number of refugees in Africa, Ethiopia has a lower rate of childhood deaths from diarrheal diseases than Africa as a whole.’ But international aid organizations have privately expressed frustration at Ethiopia’s refusal to call the disease cholera; such a move would trigger an international response…” (Schemm, 5/18).

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