Skip to main content

WHO chief 'rethinking' Robert Mugabe's appointment

The new head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is rethinking a plan to appoint Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's original proposal sparked an outcry.

He had previously praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

But Mr Mugabe's critics say Zimbabwe's healthcare system has collapsed under his 30-year rule, with staff often going without pay while medicines are in short supply.

It led Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Doug Coltart to take to Twitter to question how the WHO felt about having "a Goodwill Ambassador who destroyed the health sector in his country".

Other social media users accused the president - who, at 93, has outlived his country's average life expectancy by more than three decades - of travelling abroad to receive his own medical treatment.

Meanwhile, the UK government described his selection as "surprising and disappointing" given his country's human rights record, and warned it could overshadow the WHO's work.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he "thought it was a bad April Fool's joke", while the US state department said it "clearly contradicts the United Nations ideals of respect for human rights and human dignity".

Zimbabwe's leader has been frequently taken to task over human rights abuses by both the EU and the US.

Critics have long argued that Zimbabwe's health service is not meeting the needs of patients
Other groups who have criticised Mr Mugabe's appointment include the Wellcome Trust, the NCD Alliance, UN Watch, the World Heart Federation and Action Against Smoking. 

Dr Tedros had said Zimbabwe was a country that "places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all".

However, the Ethiopian said on Saturday he was "rethinking his approach in light of WHO values".
Mr Mugabe was supposed to be goodwill ambassador "to help tackle non-communicable diseases", which includes things like heat attacks and asthma.

Dr Tedros is the first African to lead the WHO. He was elected in May with a mandate to tackle perceived politicisation in the organisation.


BBC

Comments

TRENDING

Must Read : Radio & TV Host Anita Erskine Pens Down A Letter To Rashida Black Beauty

We woke up to this masterpiece online, a LETTER of Starr FM’s award-winning media queen and Women’s advocate, Anita Erskine has written a letter to Rashida Black Beauty .. Just like a carousel, the maiden is still in her spinning stage and like mother eagle, Anita sees the future that Rashida someday can become a fabric of a building, thus, she wants her to, “…come and let’s talk – one on one.”

Serena Williams explains why she chose to marry a White man

A lot of Black people have criticized tennis champion Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams for marrying and dating White men, instead of sticking with Black brothers. The mother-of-one has now explained her reason for marrying Alexis Ohanian.

Akufo-Addo's presidential kiss with wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the 2019 State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 21 in Parliament.

Photos and Videos from Kennedy Osei and Tracy’s royal wedding

It was all glitz, glamour and fancy cars at Trassaco Estate as the General Manager of Despite Media and son of Ghanaian business mogul, Osei Kwame Despite, Kennedy Osei traditionally marries his girlfriend Tracy.

2017 WomanRising 100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women Announced

WomanRising, a flagship network of The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) has announced its annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Ghana (100 MIWG) for 2017.