World Health Organization gave pissed off Ethiopians when picking Tedros Adhanom as “first African WHO director general” ; now he is causing “headache” for the organization
Tedros Adhanom is once again at the center of a controversy related to the multilateral United Nations agency he is leading, The World Health Organization (WHO). The outrage he had to deal with back in October 2017 was triggered by his choice of Zimbabwe’s former president, the president then, Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador for non-communicable disease in Africa.
Sarah Wheaton whose article appeared on Politico on January 1, 2018, described his latest action that put him on a collision course, apparently, with civil society leaders as “disruptive move.” From her writing, he was avoiding WHO’s hiring practice and pursuing a fast-track process. Gender and geographical diversity seem to be the ideals he seeks to achieve through the fast-track hiring process. And the concern on the part of those who are opposing him is that “an overly political approach is bringing a culture change at the cost of credibility.”
The appointment of “a little-known Russian official” for the WHO’s tuberculosis program met with an opposition from civil society leaders. Apart from not adhering to the organization’s hiring process, the appointment of Russian man came a month after Tedros Adhanom met with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Obviously, anything related to Russia is likely to be controversial for political reasons. And probably the resistance to his appointment of Russian man for WHO’s tuberculosis program is political too. In the interest of fairness, his appointment of Robert Mugabe as Goodwill Ambassador was overblown.
The regime to which Tewodros was a part in Ethiopia is inherently and unmistakably corrupt; known for cronyism and nepotism, not to mention gross human rights violations. If the opposition to Tedros Adhanom is about World Health Organizations’ values and practices, he should not have been given the opportunity to run for WHO director general position in the first place as the regime he was working in Ethiopia is against stated values of the United Nations (by implication its agencies including WHO).
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