Ten Ethiopian health professional associations announce support for Dr. Tedros Adhanom for WHO DG

Associations and societies highlight Dr. Tedros’ role transforming healthcare in Ethiopia, giving him the hands-on experience necessary to be a strong partner to the organization’s member states.


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — May 17, 2017: Today, ten health professional societies and associations in Ethiopia held a press conference to express their strong support for H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ candidacy to become the next Director-General of the World Health Organization. The associations highlighted how Dr. Tedros, as he is known by his first name, reformed the Ethiopian health care system with a focus on primary health care, health promotion and disease prevention and dramatically improved access to health services throughout the country.

“Dr. Tedros changed the way we deliver health care in Ethiopia,” said Dr. Gemechis Mamo, President of the Ethiopian Medical Association. “He extended the health system into the far reaches of the country through innovative approaches like Health Extension Workers, who are of and from the community. Also increasing investment in infrastructure, emergency preparedness and information systems, Dr. Tedros changed the trajectory of health in Ethiopia, putting us on an accelerated path to ensuring health for all.”

Dr. Tedros, who served as Minister of Health in Ethiopia from 2005–2012 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016, is currently the front runner to become the next Director General of the World Health Organization. In his role as Minister of Health, he is widely known for his successful leadership of Ethiopia’s complete health system reform. These efforts included creating 3,500 health centres and 16,000 health posts, investing in provider training, which led to a seven-fold increase in health professionals in the country and training almost 40,000 Health Extension Workers to create a community-based system.

Because of these and other efforts, he is credited with helping the country achieve nearly all the Millennium Development Goals, including reducing childhood deaths by two-thirds. Dr. Tedros has also been an active member in the Ethiopian Public Health Association and a close partner to the Ethiopian Medical Association.

“As Vice President of the Ethiopian Public Health Association, I can attest to the impact Dr. Tedros has had on the ground in Ethiopia and within our societies. This hands-on experience sets him apart from the other candidates,” said Sister Fikerte Zeleke.

Internationally, Dr. Tedros has also served as Board Chair of the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and the Partnerships for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), as well as Chair of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB). Within these organizations, he also led transformative reforms, including rebuilding donor confidence at the Global Fund and raising record-setting funds at both the Global Fund and Roll Back Malaria. He also co-chaired the 13th World Congress on Public Health in Addis Ababa in 2012.

“There is no stronger champion and advocate for public health than Dr. Tedros — and we are proud to call him one of our own,” said Sister Yezabnesh Kebe, President of the Ethiopian Midwives Association. “Working alongside him, we have witnessed his leadership first hand, and we’ve had seen the outcomes that result when he puts his mind to something, drives a shared vision across diverse organizations, and encourages bold action. We are certain he would bring a similar commitment, dedication and mindset to the World Health Organization and lead similarly transformative change.

“ Associations and societies which endorsed Dr. Tedros today are the: Ethiopian Medical Association; Ethiopian Public Health Association; Public Health Officers Association of Ethiopia; Ethiopian Dental Professionals Association; Ethiopian Midwives Association; Ethiopian Association of Anesthetists; Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Ethiopian Society of Internal Medicine;

Ethiopian Pediatrics Society; and Surgical Society of Ethiopia. The election will take place in Geneva on 23 May 2017 at the World Health Assembly. The two other candidates in the race are Dr. David Nabarro from the United Kingdom and Dr. Sania Nishtar from Pakistan.

You can read more about Dr. Tedros and his vision for a healthy world as #NextDG at #WHA70 on his website: www.drtedros.com — and follow along with his campaign on social media at Facebook.com/DrTedros.Official and on Twitter at @DrTedros (https://twitter.com/DrTedros). Sign up for the campaign’s newsletter `From the Desk of Dr. Tedros’.

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