The George Institute welcomes new WHO Director-General

The George Institute for Global Health has welcomed the appointment of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Stephen MacMahon, co-founder and Principal Director of The George Institute for Global Health, said: “This is the most important and challenging job in global health and it’s very encouraging and reassuring to see this position filled by such a tireless community health campaigner. We have no doubt that Dr Tedros will bring great insight into the challenges facing the WHO and it is clear from his work in Africa he is committed to helping the world’s most vulnerable people.

“We commend Dr Tedros for outlining his priorities in his new role which include advancing universal health coverage and ensuring that the wellbeing of women, children and adolescents is at the centre of global health and development. These are goals very much aligned with the work of The George Institute.

“But with chronic disease being the world’s biggest killer, accounting for more than 60 per cent of global deaths, we believe non-communicable disease prevention and treatment should also be at the top of the agenda of the WHO.

“We would also like to see a focus on strengthening health systems around the world which are dealing with the double burden of patients presenting with both communicable and chronic disease. Traditional health systems are not set up to deal with this burden and we need innovation, led by the WHO, to tackle this complex problem. “
Robyn Norton, co-founder and Principal Director of The George Institute for Global Health, added: “The focus on women’s health by Dr Tedros is very welcome. Women around the world face a number of barriers to accessing the health system which needs to be urgently addressed. Non-communicable diseases have been the leading cause of death globally for women for the last 30 years, and it’s clear a new approach is needed. We look forward to working with Dr Tedros and the WHO to help achieve this goal.”

Dr Tedros is the former Ethiopian Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the board of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria. He succeeds Dr Margaret Chan, who is stepping down after 10 years at the WHO's helm.

Read more about Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's appointment.