In a dinner reception held in Geneva, Health Ministers of more than 30 African countries pledged to support Dr Tedros’ candidature to the post of the World Health organization.
“Given the merits of Dr Tedros, what excuses do we have not to support Dr Tedros’ candidature?” said Dr Mustapha Kaloko, the African Union’s Commissioner for Social Affairs.
Judging by his merit, Dr Tedros is a person WHO needs most to move forward with its reform agenda, Dr Kaloko noted.
Gambia’s Health Minister described Dr Tedros as a candidate who hails an academic background, a proven public service record and a research that is capable of pushing for reform in WHO operations.
Tanzania’s Health Minister made a moving remark where she said, Tanzania will stand by the candidate who is our own African son as Nyreee would have it.
Long time colleague, Dr Kesetebirahn Admasu, Ethiopia’s Health Minister shared the gathering his intimate experience describing Dr Tedros as a man of profound humbleness and humility.
He cited some of the success stories of Ethiopia’s health under Dr Tedros’ leadership. He noted that Ethiopia was able to build 3,500 health centers and 16,000 health posts in less than seven years time.
He also related the story of mosquito net distribution in Ethiopia. He said “Until 2005, Ethiopia’s total distribution of mosquito nets was 500,000. However, Dr Tedros had the audacity to aim leap frog the number to 20,000,000.
He added “In less than two years Ethiopia managed to distribute 18,000,000 mosquito nets which is an unprecedented coverage in any part of the world.
Dr Kesetebirahn said “Africa is not presenting only an African candidate, but an able candidate”.
Health Ministers of Nigeria, South Africa, Libya, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Sudan were among the Ministers who made a strong reformation of support to Dr Tedros’ candidacy.