By Haruna Gimba
Africa’s candidate for the WHO top job, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has finally been elected to replace outgoing Dr Margaret Chan as Director-General of the United Nations health outfit after three rounds of voting.
A former health minister at the voting ground has tweeted that Tedros got votes that passed the over 66% required to be declared the winner.
Our correspondent report that with his election, Dr Tedros becomes the first African to ascend to the post in the nearly 70-years existence of the WHO.
He is also the first non-physician to be elected to the post. Dr Tedros has previously served as health and foreign affairs minister of Ethiopia and till date was a special advisor to Prime Minsiter Hailemariam Desalegn.
He beat two other competitors, Dr Sania Nishtar of Pakistan and Dr David Nabarro of the United Kingdom to emerge winner.
The position will become vacant when the current DG, Dr Margaret Chan steps down at the end of her tenure in June.
Dr Tedros who served as both Minister of Health, 2005-2012 and Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2012-2016 of Ethiopia, led a comprehensive reform that dramatically helped improve health outcomes in the country.
During his tenure, more than 3,500 health centers and 16,000 health posts were created; 38,000 health extension workers were trained to deliver services in their communities, among others achievements.