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LESOTHO SUPPORTS NEWLY APPOINTED WHO DIRECTOR-GENERA-HEALTH MINISTER

Lesotho was part of the African countries that voted for Ethiopia’s former Health Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (52) as the new Director-General for the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr 'Molotsi Monyamane revealed on Thursday.

The Minister of Health asserted that while Lesotho did not contest the position, her delegation was however part of the African Union block in lobbying towards the election of the first ever African WHO Director-General. 

He expressed delight that the least developed countries are at last being represented at the helm of the WHO's global administration as Dr Matshidiso Moeti from Botswana is the first woman WHO Regional Director for Africa.

He thus asserted that Lesotho is already benefiting from the policies implemented by Dr Moeti which he said include among others decentralisation of services in the health sector, the 15 year strategic plan stretching between 2017 to 2030, the e-health policy and e-health strategic plan as well as the test and treat. He added that the regional WHO office has also helped in many respects.

Adding to the regional WHO office's contribution to Lesotho, Dr Monyamane said there is a Mosotho employed at the office whom he said conducted research and training of his Ministry's staff during the recent rubella and measles immunisation exercise. 

With regard to the appointment of the new WHO Director General, Dr Monyamane said the appointment shows that the global organisation is changing as a lot is yet to be learned from him as he is a diplomatic person who has played a significant role in changing things around in his country, saying the Government of Lesotho supports the appointment.

Meanwhile, Lesotho was among more than 180 countries that participated at the World Health Assembly in Geneva last week for the inauguration of the new Director-General who will lead the global health agency.

Over and above succeeding the outgoing Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan on July 1, Dr Tedros' election according to the WHO's press statement, took three rounds of secret-ballot to vote for him to claim the top job on Tuesday last week. 

“But from the start of balloting, it was clear momentum was going his way,” reads the press statement which states that he topped every vote, starting in January when the WHO’s executive board whittled a long list of six candidates down to the final three.

He was said to be the top vote-getter in a three-way face-off, knocking Dr Sania Nishtar (54) of Pakistan, out of competition while he subsequently defeated Dr David Nabarro (67) of Britain in the final ballot and earning himself 133 votes to Nabarro’s 50. There were two abstentions.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the first Director-General from a developing country and first non-physician to lead the WHO. He is an internationally recognised malaria researcher, with a PhD in community health.

 

Source: LENA 01/06/2017

 

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