Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the new head of the United Nation’s leading health outfit, the World Health Organization (WHO), returned home after making his nation and the continent proud earlier this week.
The 52-year-old arrived at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa on board the national carrier on Saturday morning. He was met by a high-level government delegation that included the current health minister, Prof. Yifru Berhan and foreign affairs state minister, Hirut Zemene.
Hirut expressed gratitude to all who made Tedros’ victory possible, “The Foreign Ministry expresses its deep gratitude and thanks to the international community, in particular, our African Union and African Ambassadors for the support rendered to worlds hero Dr. Tedros.”
The Foreign Ministry expresses its deep gratitude and thanks to the international community, in particular, our African Union and African Ambassadors for the support rendered to worlds hero Dr. Tedros.
The health minister for his part lauded Tedro’s achievement and tasked young people across the continent to take a leaf from his story.
The former health minister of Ethiopia became the first African to be voted to lead the WHO in its nearly 70 years of existence. He also became the first non-physician to be voted to the post. His Dr. title is because he holds a PhD in community health.
He beat two other competitors who were both physicians. The election took place during the World Health Assembly’s meeting in Geneva Switzerland with all member states voting to choose the Director-General for the first time.
The voting, however, did not come easy as it traveled three rounds before he finally won a decisive victory over the UK’s candidate, David Nabarro – polling 133 votes as against Nabarro’s 50.
Tedros echoed the Foreign Ministry’s position that it took the unity of Africans to deliver the history that it enjoys today. He is due to take office in June when the tenure of Margaret Chan expires.
Photos: Ethiopian Airlines