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Statement on the Election of the New Director-General of WHO

May 23, 2017 (GENEVA) – The Roll Back Malaria Partnership congratulates H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his appointment as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Tedros is a proven reformer, who brings decades of experience, a fresh perspective and unparalleled diplomatic skills. With experience at national level as Federal Minister of Health and subsequently Foreign Minister, and at international level as Chair of the Global Fund Board, Dr Tedros has the technical expertise and the breadth of perspective to lead WHO in the SDG era. We are confident that he will ensure that health, and health determinants, remain at the top of the multi-sectoral development agenda.
“Dr. Tedros has wanted to defeat malaria since his early days as a public health advocate and practitioner. As the new leader of the World Health Organization, his leadership and commitment will be critical to ensuring the world stays committed to that goal,” said Dr. Kesete Admasu, CEO of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
As Ethiopia’s Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Tedros designed and implemented a comprehensive malaria control strategy with ambitious targets. This strategy protected 50 million people at risk and reduced deaths from malaria by more than 50 percent. Since then, Ethiopia has not suffered a major outbreak of malaria.
Globally, the world has seen tremendous progress in malaria control since 2000, resulting in nearly seven million lives saved, hundreds of millions of infections averted and over US$2 trillion added to the economies of endemic countries. Still, malaria remains a daily threat with half the world’s population still at risk. There are opportunities to save lives today by reducing transmission and eliminating the disease where possible.
We are now embarking on new chapter in the fight against malaria. Sustaining this progress and achieving the ambitious goal of eliminating malaria in 10 additional countries by 2020 is within reach, but requires ongoing and enhanced technical focus and funding commitments. This final effort may be our most challenging yet but complacency is not an option: a malaria-free world is within our grasp.
“The Roll Back Malaria Partnership looks forward to working with Dr. Tedros to continuing the global effort to achieve this malaria-free world,” said Dr. Kesete. “And, on a personal level, as someone who has worked closely with Dr Tedros for over 10 years, I’m thrilled to work with my fellow compatriot, someone who understands the malaria world and the importance of inter-sectoral approaches. Together, we can end this disease for good.”

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