The Acting Director-General of Kenya’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, has been appointed President of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Amoth was elected on Wednesday in a virtual meeting of the 149th session of the Executive Board, to replace Dr. Harsh Vardhan from India in leading 34 other members of the board for three years. Dr. Amoth, in confirming his new position, noted that this new role would serve to put Africa on the map in terms of highlighting the region’s health issues to the WHO.

“It is a momentous occasion for the people of Kenya and Africa as I take leadership of one of the top organs of WHO in the midst of the pandemic,” he said.

Dr Amoth’s impressive career in Kenya has seen him remain in service as a chief technical advisor to the government in liaison with the Health Ministry, and as part of reliable personnel giving official guidance during the pandemic after Kenya reported its first Covid-19 case.

Trained as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Amoth began his career at the Kiambu District Hospital in the year 2001, rising through the ranks in different hospitals before joining government at the Health Ministry where he has served in different capacities – most recently as Acting Director-General.

In the 58th Madaraka Day celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta recognized Dr. Amoth’s efforts aimed at fighting the pandemic and expert advice to the government, and in recognition of his service, he was awarded the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo Award, which encompassed Kenyans who committed themselves to the fight against Covid-19.