As the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Health in Agenda 2030 and for Malaria, I congratulate my good friend Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his election as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization. He begins his new role on July 1st.
Dr. Tedros has long been a stalwart champion for health, demonstrated by the many accomplishments and advances made throughout his roles as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Minister of Health and Foreign Minister. In the former role, Tedros led a comprehensive reform effort of the country’s health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, and expanded the health workforce by 38,000 health extension workers. He also initiated financing mechanisms to expand health insurance coverage. Under his stewardship, Ethiopia achieved remarkable results in preventing and controlling malaria, reducing the nation’s malaria deaths by 40%–largely through the innovative deployment of the health extension workers. Among other results was the dramatic decrease in maternal deaths.
He has also served as Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, and as Co-Chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
I have no doubt we will see the same thoughtful leadership during Dr. Tedros’ tenure as Director-General of the World Health Organization – and the same positive impact on the health of people around the world.
I look forward to continuing to working closely with Dr. Tedros to meet the ambitious yet achievable targets of the health-related goals for sustainable development and to see the end of the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.