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Ghebreyesus overcomes criticisms over Ebola, COVID-19, re-elected as WHO DG




THE World Health Assembly has re-elected Tedros Ghebreyesus as the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He was re-elected for five years as the agency’s DG for a second and final term.

His re-election sailed through despite huge criticisms against the WHO’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the failure of the agency to sanction alleged misconduct by its officials managing Ebola in Congo.


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Ghebreyesus, 57, is the first African and first non-doctor to lead the WHO.

The World Health Assembly re-elected him as the sole candidate on Tuesday.

His re-election was confirmed at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva.

Ghebreyesus became the Director-General of WHO in 2017 after serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia from 2012 and 2016 and as Minister of Health between 2005 and 2012.

He had 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.

Since he took over the agency, he has led the global fight against Ebola.

“During his first term, Dr Tedros instituted a wide-ranging transformation of the WHO to increase the organization’s efficiency, driving impact at the country level to promote healthier lives, protect more people in emergencies, and increase equitable access to health. 

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“He also guided WHO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the health impacts of multiple other humanitarian crises,” the WHO said in a statement announcing his re-election.

The ICIR reports that while leading the world to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, experts accused the WHO chief of committing some blunders that allegedly escalated the pandemic, making it kill over six million people and infect over 500 million people.

At the onset of the pandemic, the WHO failed to sanction countries that failed to enforce face-mask wearing, including China, which initially covered up the outbreak.

Similarly, the agency has yet to thoroughly investigate and punish its officials allegedly involved in sexual abuse in Congo while managing the Ebola outbreak in the country in 2018.

Meanwhile, the WHO DG protested vaccine diplomacy and hoarding by rich countries and helped low-income nations access pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions at the pandemic’s peak.

He also led several discussions that drastically declined the deadly impact of the virus.

Author profile

Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ mfatunmole@icirnigeria.org.

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