Global Health Leaders Letter

Experts Call on Ministers of Health to Support African Union-Endorsed Candidate at 70th World Health Assembly

In an open letter to Ministers of Health released May 20, 2017, 35 of the world’s top global health leaders expressed their support for Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia to become the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). On Tuesday (23 May), WHO Member States will select the next Director-General at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland – a decision that will greatly impact the health and lives of people around the world.

Dr. Tedros’ high-level endorsers – representing a broad cross section of the most influential people in global health and 24 countries and five continents – have called him the “most capable and qualified candidate” for the job. They note his proven record in reforming Ethiopia’s health system, which brought primary healthcare to the country, cutting child mortality by two-thirds and reducing HIV infections by 90% and malaria and tuberculosis deaths by 75% and 64%, respectively.

These leaders – all with long experience working in health on the international and national level – also highlighted Dr. Tedros’s public health and diplomatic leadership as well as his integrity, humility, and decisiveness.

“Dr. Tedros not only has the vision and experience to lead the world toward achieving the ambitious aims laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals, including universal health coverage, but also the hands-on experience to be a supportive, credible partner to countries in their efforts to achieve them,” the leaders stated.

Below read full text of the letter:

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    Signatories:

    Note: Organizations are listed for identification purposes only

  • Dr. Berhanu Abegaz, Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Johannesburg; Former Executive Director, African Academy of Sciences
  • Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, Former President, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO); Former President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, U.K.
  • Dr. Jorge Bermudez, Senior Researcher and former Vice-President of Health Production and Innovation, Fiocruz, Brazil; former Executive Director, UNITAID, Geneva; former Unit Chief of Essential Medicines, Vaccines and Health Technologies at PAHO/WHO, Washington
  • Kate Campana, Chief Executive Officer, Speak Up Africa
  • Dr. Joanne Carter, Global health and anti-poverty advocate
  • Dr. Lucy Chen, Executive Deputy Director, Institute for Global Health, Peking University
  • Dr. Alex Coutinho, Director, Partners in Health Rwanda; Former Board Chair, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
  • Dr. Abdallah Daar, Professor of Clinical Public Health, Global Health and Surgery, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Marc Danzon, WHO Regional Director Emeritus (Europe)
  • Yacine Djibo, Founder and President, Speak Up Africa
  • Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Julio Frenk, President, University of Miami; Former Minister of Health, Mexico
  • Professor Sir Brian Greenwood
  • Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Founder & Chief Executive, Rozaria Memorial Trust; African Union Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage
  • Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, Midwife; Retired WHO Staff Member; Founder, Edna Adan Hospital & University; Former Foreign Minister and Former First Lady, Somaliland Republic
  • Dr. Michel Jancloes, Former WHO Country Representative to Ethiopia; Former Senior Adviser to WHO Director-General Dr. Lee Jong-wook
  • Dr. Bobby John, Co-Founder and Former President, Global Health Advocates; Managing Director, Æquitas Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
  • Dr. Donald Kaberuka, 7th President, African Development Bank (2005-2015)
  • Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chair, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, Japan
  • Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director, Partners In Population and Development, Africa Regional Office
  • Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Vivian Onano, Women & Girls Advocate, Youth Leader, Partnership Manager at SEED Project
  • Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, Former Assistant Administrator for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Baijayant “Jay” Panda, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Odisha, India
  • Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, CEO, Big Win Philanthropy; Former Minister of Health, Nigeria; Adjunct Professor, Duke University Global Health Institute, U.S.
  • Peter van Rooijen, Executive Director, International Civil Society Support; Former Executive Director Dutch AIDS Fonds and STOP AIDS NOW
  • Dr. Giorgio Roscigno, Founding CEO, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development; Founding CEO, Foundation for Innovative and New Diagnostics; Chairman, Next2People Foundation
  • Dr. Fred Sai, Former President, International Planned Parenthood Federation; Former Chairman, National Population Council of Ghana
  • Toyin Saraki, Founder-President, Wellbeing Foundation Africa
  • Dr. Dorothy Shaw, Clinical Professor, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Jill Sheffield, Founder and Former President, Women Deliver; Founder and Former President, Family Care International
  • Dr. Peter Singer, Chief Executive Officer, Grand Challenges Canada
  • Professor Dr. Marleen Temmerman, Director, Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, East Africa
  • Dr. Prashant Yadav, Director of Healthcare Research, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Ray Yip, Former Director, China Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Former Director, China Office, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Former Chief of Health and Nutrition, UNICEF