An African at the helm of World Health Organization, a Première

Tedro defeated Britain's Dr. David Nabarro, a United Nations veteran, in the final round of voting on Tuesday. In the final round of voting, there were two abstentions, observers said.

The list of three shortlisted candidates also included Sania Nishtar from Pakistan. Amongst them were hiring and training roughly 40,000 female health extension workers, cutting infant mortality from 123 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2006 to 88 in 2011, and increasing the hiring of health cadres including medical doctors and midwives.

Price congratulated Tedros in a statement following the vote.

Despite his high credentials, Ghebreyesus' election was mired with controversy. Margaret Chan, who is ending a 10-year tenure.

Health officials from more than 180 countries have elected a new leader for the World Health Organization.

Nishtar was among three candidates vying to replace outgoing chief Dr. Margaret Chan.

Ethiopia's former health minister received more than half the votes in the first round and eventually won a decisive third-round election on Tuesday to beat the UK's David Nabarro to the job. But, as hard-fought as the campaign was, the most hard challenges for Tedros lie ahead. And he said his "landslide" victory (garnering 133 votes of a possible 185 or so in the secret ballot) give his office "legitimacy" and "confidence".

He has shown familiarity with India and commended the National Health Policy 2017 as a move towards universal coverage. Nabarro, a WHO insider, has 40 years of experience in the global public health domain.

"I have the ability to accelerate the reforms that you have championed".

In a last pitch before voting began, Tedros had appealed to ministers by promising to represent their interests and to ensure more countries got top jobs at the Geneva-based WHO.

"I promise to run World Health Organization in the same manner in which I ran my campaign - cost-effectively, with full transparency, with a global outlook, with integrity, and respect for all...."

He added: "Under my leadership, it will be".

The president of this year's World Health Assembly opened this afternoon's proceedings by calling for a minute of silence to remember the victims of the Manchester bombing attack. Member states should up their funding commitment if they want a real decision-making power in the organization's future, he tells Devex.

The WHO said that while Tedros was Ethiopia's health minister, he led comprehensive health system reforms that expanded the country's health system, including the creation of 3,500 health centers and 16,000 health posts and boosting the health workforce by 38,000.

While running as a candidate for the position, he recounted a story from his childhood in which his brother died from a common, preventable disease.

Corrects this entry to say that he was seven years old.

Of the United Nations health agency's 194 member states, 185 were eligible to cast ballots.

The incoming health chief, who will succeed China's Margaret Chan, was chosen from amongst three nominees presented to the World Health Assembly, along with David Nabarro from the United Kingdom, and Sania Nishtar from Pakistan.

The victor will succeed Dr. Margaret Chan, who's ending a 10-year tenure.

  • Delores Daniels