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Global access to basic health services my priority — WHO DG, Dr. Tedros

By Gabriel Olawale

The new Director-General of the World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has identified the right of every individual to basic health services as  his  administration’s top priority.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Tedros who began his five-year term on July 1, 2017 said that when people are healthy, the entire communities and nations thrive and the whole world benefits.

According to him, improving global health requires effective engagement with all member states and across multiple sectors.

“Under my leadership an enhanced and independent WHO will take a science-led and innovation-based approach that is results-oriented and responsive, maximises inclusive partnerships, and ensures collective priority setting with all stakeholders.”

Tedros who previously served as Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia is optimistic that his administration would bring about a world where everyone can live healthy, productive lives, regardless of who they are or where they live.

“I believe in the global commitment to sustainable development which offers a unique opportunity to address the social, economic and political determinants of health and improve the health and well-being of people everywhere.

“Achieving this vision will require a strong, effective WHO that is able to meet emerging challenges and achieve the health objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. We need a WHO that is fit for the 21st century, that belongs to all equally. We need a WHO that is efficiently managed, adequately resourced and results driven, with a strong focus on transparency, accountability and value for money.

“I will champion mechanisms to meaningfully listen to, learn from and engage people and communities – including migrant, displaced and disabled individuals; people living in rural, urban slum and low-income areas; and other vulnerable populations.  “This engagement – and what we learn from it – will be at the centre of our efforts to mobilize resources and hold authorities accountable for the health of all, regardless of age, gender, income, sexual orientation or religion.

I will engage with Heads of State, Ministers across a wide range of portfolios, multilateral institutions, the UN system, civil society and the private sector to make access to health care and protection from infectious disease outbreaks a central


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