Who is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: WHO

Who is Tedros Adhanom

Tedros Adhanom, in full Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, (born March 3, 1965, Asmara, Ethiopia [now in Eritrea]), Ethiopian biologist and public health official who was the first African to serve as director general (2017– ) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by the WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's Biography

He is the first WHO Director-General to have served as a health minister and also the first WHO Director-General from an African country. He brings to the position a track record of driving health system reform in Ethiopia, resulting in marked successes in tackling tuberculosis (TB) there, according to the Union.

Immediately after taking office on 1 July 2017 Dr. Tedros outlined five key priorities for the Organization: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO.

Tedros - Early Life and Education

Tedros was raised in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the country’s northernmost area. The region was heavily affected by civil war during Tedros’s youth, and diseases such as malaria and measles were prevalent. Tedros studied biology at the University of Asmara, where he completed a bachelor of science degree in 1986. He then served briefly as a junior public health expert for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health before attending the University of London, where he studied immunology of infectious diseases and in 1992 earned a master’s degree. He completed his studies in 2002 with a Ph.D. in community health from the University of Nottingham.

Career of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Prior to his election as WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012–2016. In this role, he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012, where he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system. All roads lead to universal health coverage for Dr. Tedros, and he has demonstrated what it takes to expand access to health care with limited resources.

The transformation he led as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health improved access to health care for millions of people. Under his leadership, Ethiopia invested in critical health infrastructure, expanded its health workforce, and developed innovative health financing mechanisms.

Beyond Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros’ global leadership on malaria, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health has been immensely impactful. He was elected as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Board in 2009, and previously served as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board, and Co-chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board.

Born in the city of Asmara, Eritrea, Dr. Tedros holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London. Dr. Tedros is globally recognized as a health scholar, researcher, and diplomat with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses to epidemics, as the laureates and leaders.

Throughout his career, Dr. Tedros has published numerous articles in prominent scientific journals and received awards and recognition from across the globe. He received the Decoration of the Order of Serbian Flag in 2016 and was awarded the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of public health in 2011.

Salary of the WHO Director-General

The Seventy-first World Health Assembly ESTABLISHES the salary of the Director-General at US$239 755 gross per annum, with a corresponding net salary of US$173738.

• Annual: $223,374.00

• Monthly: $18,614.50

• Weekly: $4,295.65

• Daily: $859.13

WHO Dirtector - General quarantine after contact gets COVID-19

GENEVA (AP) - World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he will self-quarantine after being identified as a contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19. A top WHO official focusing on the pandemic said Monday there has been no transmission at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

The 55-year-old Tedros tweeted late Sunday that he is “well and without symptoms,” but will self-quarantine in “coming days, in line with WHO protocols, and work from home.” His agency followed that up on Monday with its own tweet apparently aimed to dispel misinformation about his decision, writing: “Contrary to some incorrect reports, @DrTedros hasn’t tested positive for #COVID19.”

But the agency suggested later that Tedros hadn’t been tested at all - and wasn’t required to undergo a test under its current protocols. Tedros and WHO didn’t identify the contact who had tested positive.

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