Dr Tedros is the Leader the WHO Needs
By Nicole Schiegg
In three weeks leaders from all over the world will travel to Geneva, Switzerland for the annual World Health Assembly. For the first time in history, countries have the opportunity to elect an African and a former Minister of Health to lead the World Health Organization. While the other two candidates in this race are accomplished, Dr Tedros Adhanom of Ethiopia is the best choice for Director-General. There has never been someone more qualified to lead WHO at this pivotal moment in its history.
I first got to know Dr Tedros when I was working for the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator in 2005. My first trip to Ethiopia was for a PEPFAR conference in Addis Ababa. I listened with great interest as Dr Tedros spoke passionately about the changes he planned for his country through a health extension worker program. They were putting women at the core and creating a health development army. The program would bring preventative care to rural villages and better prepare for outbreaks and health emergencies.
Time would pass and I would hear about the great success of the community-led transformation of Ethiopia’s healthcare system. In 2010, as a senior advisor at USAID, I returned to Ethiopia as part of a three-country trip focused on U.S. global health investments. It was then I would see these results firsthand.
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