Whoever will take on the job as this new WHO director-general will have a bumpy route ahead

The person who will take office from July 1st, 2017, will have an impact that is significant on the institution as well as on the health of the world. From a initially six candidates that was formulated by members in September of 2016 the number of potential candidates is now reduced to three.

Meet the candidates

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is a doctor who is not medically who is trained in the field of biology, immunology, infectious diseases, as well as health for the community. An ex-health as well as foreign minister of Ethiopia The doctor is widely regarded as an expert on malaria research.

Ghebreyesus is believed to have aided in the provision of health services throughout Ethiopia via his ” health extension workers” program that provides two health professionals with a salary to each village. The majority of the 38,000 + employees are women who are recruited from the communities within the area they are employed. This program is recognized for reducing infant mortality as well as better maternal health throughout the nation.

Ghebreyesus states the he is a staunch advocate of strengthening the health system as well as all-inclusive health insurance coverage.

Sania Nishtar is trained as a cardiologist as well as an ex-health minister from Pakistan and vice-chairperson of the World Health Organization’s panel on stopping children’s obesity. She is the co-founder and the head of Think-tank Heartfile, a non-profit NGO that focuses on analysis of policy and strategies for improving the health system in Pakistan.

Nishtar is known for having created policies regarding the health system and non-communicable diseases through the numerous professions she’s had and also through her involvement in civil society and academic research.

The term of WHO Director-General Margaret Chan is coming to a close. Pierre Albouy/Reuters

She brings expertise in the health system, health in general, and larger issues of governance as well as public-private partnerships to the position.

David Nabarro is a medical doctor from Britain with several experiences working in child nutrition and health programmes throughout South Asia, East Africa and Iraq. A large portion of his professional career was spent working for the WHO as well as at the United Nations.

Nabarro has been involved in Nabarro has worked on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as health emergencies and food security Nabarro is currently a special advisor for Nabarro, the UN secretary general on sustainable development as well as climate change.

He has stated that his top four main priorities of the WHO are aligning with the SDGs and responding to emergencies and outbreaks, trustful engagement with members, and focusing on people-centered health policies.

The art of balance

The person who is chosen for the job will face a long and difficult journey ahead.

The mandate of the WHO has grown with the demands of its members. The organization is required to tackle issues relating to sanitation, disease transmission as well as pandemics and epidemics and also to tackle issues such as access to medications as well as health worker migration and the rise in non-communicable illnesses. There’s also the health of children and mothers, as well as universal access to health services.

However, given the many other private and public organizations that are typically more financially backed and focusing on particular sectors of the public health system, the question of whether the WHO should be able to narrow its focus and focus its efforts on pandemic responses and lend its assistance to strengthen the health systems of its core is currently being debated.

A bloated bureaucracy, as well as budgets that have fallen way short of the needs, has meant that the ability of the WHO to fulfill its mandate globally is limited. One of the most recent examples of this is in 2014’s Ebola outbreak that claimed nearly 11,300 lives.

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