Amidst racial slurs, death threats, social media attacks, the World Health Organization, Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has unbowed. Through it, all remained focused on one single task: Building international “solidarity” against an outbreak that has claimed over 300,000 lives globally. Coronavirus has quelled economic activity in countries rich and poor and put about a third of the world population on lockdown. The World Health Organization is at the centre of battling the pandemic, under the leadership of the Director-General.
Tedros, 55, is a malaria expert with a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Nottingham in Britain, he served as health minister and foreign minister in Ethiopia before his election in 2017 in one of WHO’s most competitive races.
Many health policy experts have praised Dr Tedros’ handling of the outbreak overall, despite criticism of the U.N. health agency by the Trump administration.
Recently, President Trump has faulted WHO for being “too accepting and praising of China’s handling of the early outbreak”. The Director-General on his part has however shied away from criticizing the two influential U.N. members, but, instead praised both President Donald Trump and Xi for their measured response since the outbreak.
African leaders and the African Union have all risen in defence of the Ethiopian-born Director-General, urging the world to unite against the pandemic and quite the blame-game.