Tedros’ Second Term: WHO’s Triple Billion Goals Fall Short as Agency Sees Power Centralized, Over-Reliance on Consultants
On 24 May 2022, WHO Member States re-elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve a second five-year term as Director-General of the World Health Organization. 

“Power has been increasingly centralised around the Director-General’s office under Tedros’ leadership. This strategy might be advantageous in a crisis that demands a commander-in-control. But a lack of depth in wider leadership leaves shortcomings in the organisation. Thus states the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, in an editorial marking the start of WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ second term in office.

The editorial notes that Tedros’ signature initiative, the Triple Billion programme, that aimed to bring better health, health-care coverage, health emergency response to three billion more people by 2023, is falling far short of its aims – with only 270 million more people accessing universal health coverage – as compared to WHO’s original aim of 1 billion:

“WHO needs people of high calibre in programmatic leadership positions,” the unsigned editorial continues. “A wealth of expertise is available in WHO regional offices, and they deserve more support, engagement, and visibility. Member states might in fact prefer to fund regional offices rather than the Geneva headquarters.

“Former Director-Generals appointed strong personalities, leaders in their areas of expertise and who had real convening power…..In its wider leadership, the WHO of today suffers a knowledge and expertise vacuum, with a heavy reliance on external experts and management consultants. Tedros would be wise to think about how leadership and responsibility is devolved to other dimensions and domains of his team.”

See the complete text here.

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