Gavi welcomes election of new WHO Chief

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Former Gavi Board member Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is elected Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the new WHO Director General. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

Geneva, 23 May 2017 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has welcomed the election of former Gavi Board member Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I’d like to send my warmest congratulations to Dr Tedros for his election as WHO Director General,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “Tedros’ commitment to immunisation is clear. His work with Gavi as Ethiopia’s Health Minister helped boost the proportion of children reached by vaccines from less than half to more than two-thirds, preventing the deaths of thousands of children. Moreover his initiative to scale up the number of community health workers helped ensure vaccines, as well as other health interventions, made it to the hardest-to-reach communities. These innovative approaches made a tremendous difference to the lives of the poorest.”

“Margaret Chan’s energy, humour and commitment to public health make her a tough act to follow,” added Dr Berkley. “Throughout her term she has shown humanity and compassion to those in desperate need. Gavi’s partnership with WHO has achieved much over the past decade: vaccine coverage in the world’s poorest countries has steadily risen while the number of lives lost to vaccine-preventable diseases has been dramatically reduced. However there is still much to be done to achieve our shared goal of universal access to lifesaving vaccines. I look forward to working with Dr Tedros to make this happen."

“Lastly, I would like to congratulate Dr Sania Nistar, also a former Gavi Board member, and Dr David Nabarro for their strong campaigns. I hope to continue to work with them as they contribute to our common goal to reach universal health coverage.”

Dr Tedros served as a member of Gavi’s Board from 2008 to 2009.


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