Update from the 140th meeting of the WHO Executive Board
Following the announcement that rheumatic heart disease will be included as an Agenda Item at the next Executive Board Meeting (‘EB 141’) in May, sessions during the first half of the week at EB 140 have focused on health systems, communicable diseases, the WHO budget and discussions around the appointment of the next WHO Director-General.
Final address from outgoing WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan
In her final address to the Executive Board as Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan praised the value of WHO’s work and coordinating role. Her address featured a strong emphasis on tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and inequality in access to health. In particular she highlighted the importance of tobacco control, referring to a recent report by WHO and the US National Cancer Institute that calculates the annual cost of smoking to the global economy at $1 trillion.
Voting on the next Director-General
On Wednesday 25 January, members of the Executive Board voted to select a shortlist of three candidates for the position of WHO Director-General. The final three candidates – Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Pakistan’s Sania Nishtar and Britain’s David Nabarro – will be put forward for consideration by the World Health Assembly in May. The new Director-General will assume the post in July 2017, taking over from Dr Margaret Chan, who has served in the role for 10 years.