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May 23, 2017

Dr. Tedros the right choice to take WHO into the future

(May 23, 2017, New York, USA) – Vital Strategies today welcomed the appointment of Ethiopia’s Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of World Health Organization.

José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vital Strategies commented:

“Dr. Tedros is an excellent choice to lead World Health Organization in the coming years. It is an historic appointment, clearly, as Dr. Tedros is the first African to hold the post in the near 70-year history of WHO. More pertinently, his experience as a former Minister of Health affords him a true understanding of the challenges faced by governments, especially those in resource-constrained countries. He is a skilled manager with a highly impressive track record. After being appointed Ethiopia’s health minister in 2005, he led a program of change that expanded basic healthcare through improved infrastructure and skills development, helping to reduce child mortality and deaths from infectious diseases like malaria.

“His personal mix of expertise, pragmatism, determination and vision was evident during the election campaign, when he delivered the clearest vision of what he thinks WHO needs to do to meet current and future challenges. Furthermore, his recognition of globalization, climate change and unhealthy lifestyles as significant threats to global health are accurate and suggest that he will be willing to call out the vested interests that so often ride roughshod over people’s health.

“Dr. Tedros is an example to others, at a time when global health needs good leaders. He will need to fully exploit his knowledge and attributes to steer WHO through necessary reform and lead the global health community in combatting the risks ahead.

“We also thank Dr. Margaret Chan for her leadership over the past decade. Under her guidance, WHO has helped countries to make progress on health policies like tobacco control and maternal health, and health is an integral part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. To her credit, Dr. Chan also took steps to advance reform of WHO. She can rest assured that her changes to the process to select a new Director-General have helped to select an excellent candidate to replace her. We wish both Dr. Tedros and Dr. Chan well for the future.”

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that seeks to accelerate progress on the world’s most pressing health problems. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies global health expert, please contact Tracey Johnston, Vital Strategies, at +44.7889.081.170 or tjohnston@vitalstrategies.org

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