The SADC Secretariat Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax has congratulated Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for being elected the first African Director-General of the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO), describing him as a man who has always wanted to upscale Public Health in his career.
In a statement issued by SADC Secretariat, Dr. Tax described the new Director General, Dr Tedros as a proven reformer, who brings years of experience, with a fresh perspective and forward looking diplomatic skills in human development.
“With his vast experience at national level as Ethiopian Federal Minister of Health and subsequently Foreign Minister, and at international level as Chairperson of the Global Fund Board, Dr Tedros has the technical expertise and the breadth of perspective to lead WHO in the era of Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Tax, adding that the SADC Region remains confident that Dr Tedros will ensure that public health, and health determinants, remain at the top of the multi-sectoral development agenda.
Dr Tax added: “as a Region that is highly affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic, TB and Malaria, we are optimistic and with unwavering confidence, that our Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan will attract the attention of WHO as we embark on the Industrialization Programme that has a Multi-sectoral approach to poverty alleviation and elimination of TB, Malaria and HIV by 2030”.
The SADC Executive Secretary re-affirmed the support and commitment of the SADC secretariat to working with the new Director General in the global effort to eliminate HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria in the region.
The World Health Organization and other Global Partners are credited in the SADC region for the tremendous progress in malaria control and particularly, with the establishment of the Elimination 8 (E8) Secretariat in Windhoek and the rolling out of Global Fund Supported Projects in HIV and TB in the Mining Sector which have created opportunities to save lives.
With support from WHO and other partners, the SADC Region is currently working on addressing issues of non-communicable diseases such as Diabetes, Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, Trauma and Injuries and Chronic Respiratory Diseases.
Dr Tedros was elected Director-General of WHO at the World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland on 23rd of May, 2017.