PATH statement on election of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director-General of the World Health Organization

May 23, 2017 by Steve Davis

PATH congratulates Dr. Tedros and urges his action to address pressing global health challenges and needs for WHO reform

Kate Davidson | (206) 302-4637 |

Today, at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates from the World Health Organization (WHO) Member States elected Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director-General of WHO.

Dr. Tedros has expressed priorities for WHO that include preparedness for health emergencies, commitment to health for all—including women, children, and adolescents, as well as organizational efficacy, transparency, and accountability. He brings to this position valuable expertise in a range of health issues and extensive experience participating in and managing national and global programs.

A statement from PATH's President and CEO Steve Davis follows:

"PATH congratulates Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his election as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He takes the helm of WHO in the face of a number of significant and complex challenges to global health and security. Chief among these will be to ensure that WHO and Member States act on the lessons learned from the devastating recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so that the global community is better prepared to respond swiftly to future outbreaks before they spiral out of control.

At the same time, WHO has a tremendous opportunity to accelerate recent advances in global health. PATH urges the new Director-General to prioritize the necessary policies and investments to promote innovation through health research and development, increase global access to lifesaving medicines and technologies, and continue global progress toward ending HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, polio, and preventable maternal and child deaths.

Additionally, it will be important to facilitate the multisector collaboration needed to achieve such goals. WHO must set forth and execute a plan to address these challenges and opportunities amid budget crises, challenging political climates, and the continuing need for institutional reforms.

PATH looks forward to seeing Dr. Tedros spearhead a highly effective, efficient, and forward-thinking WHO that embraces innovation to achieve a world where affordable, high-quality health care is within reach for everyone."

Posted May 23, 2017.