WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to seek re-election: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 03, 2021, 07:37 PM(IST)

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference in Geneva. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Ghebreyesus has remained the face of the agency as the COVID-19 pandemic ripped through the world after emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019

World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus intends to run for a second five-year term as the agency’s chief, Stat News reported on Monday.

Ghebreyesus has remained the face of the agency as the COVID-19 pandemic ripped through the world after emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. Ghebreyesus is Ethiopian and in 2017 became the first African to head the World Health Organization which is based in Geneva. 

No confirmation has come in from Ghebreyesus himself or from the World Health Organization. To retain the position, Tedros would require the support of major countries across the world and African countries could hold the key to his reappointment.

In November 2020, he was accused by the Ethiopian military of supporting and attempting to procure arms for Tigray’s dominant political party which was in direct confrontation with the country’s armed forces. Ghebreyesus has denied any involvement in the crisis.

Also read: Scientists urge WHO to look further into coronavirus origins

Under his leadership, the WHO has witnessed perhaps the biggest challenge in decades with COVID-19 which continues to log fatalities in many countries. Currently, India remains the epicentre of the virus.

Former US President Donald Trump accused Tedros and the WHO of being too “China-centric” and stopped contributions to the agency while setting off plans to leave the agency. The WHO has denied any wrongdoing in dealing with the Covid crisis.

Also read: Covid crisis like in India could 'happen anywhere', warns WHO

When Biden became US President, he announced the country’s return to the organisation and its plans to seek reforms in the health body.

After global doubts over the origins of COVID-19 made noise, the WHO ordered a mission into the virus. But the WHO chief remained distant from the mission which was jointly undertaken with Chinese scientists. According to the report submitted on March 30, the virus jumped to humans from animals and said that a lab leak remained an “extremely unlikely” cause of the virus.

(With inputs from agencies)

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