New world health boss has a great record as a swift innovator in Africa
Former Ethiopian minister faces challenge of fighting epidemics in face of Trump’s medical research cuts
The first African to lead the World Health Organisation (WHO) as its director-general, Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, started on July 1 and hit the ground running. Using Twitter to effect (he has a considerable following), he declared that universal health coverage, health emergencies, women’s, children and adolescent health and the health effects of climate and environmental change will be priorities under his leadership. The man knows his onions and has his feet on the ground. He comes to the job with a widely acclaimed record as a dedicated innovator and reformer, illustrated no less by measures he introduced to drive a 30% decline in child mortality when he was Ethiopia’s health minister. His record in combating infectious diseases is exemplary. He is well-qualified, chaired the Global Fund between 2009 and 2011, attracted many awards and was once identified as one of 50 people who would change the world. Tedros has quite a job. Under his predecessor, Margaret Chan, the ...