New WHO Director Tedros’s Opening Vision: People First 04/07/2017 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus began his first week as director-general of the UN World Health Organization by addressing the WHO staff with his vision for the organisation and the world. Top of the list? Humanity. His 3 July address, available here, began: “Let me start with the moral centre of our work, with this simple but crucial statement: WHO’s work is about serving people, about serving humanity. It’s about serving people regardless of where they live, be it in developing or developed countries, small islands or big nations, urban or rural settings. It’s about serving people regardless of who they are. Poor or rich, displaced or disabled, elderly or the youth. Most importantly, it’s about fighting to ensure the health of people as a basic human right. Health is a basic human right, that you fully understand.” “Without health, people have nothing,” he added. “Without health, we have nothing as humanity.” Universal health coverage and access to medicines and vaccines play a large role in the organisation’s work. “About 400 million people have no access, as you know, to even basic health care,” he said. “Many more have access but will endure financial hardship. During the coming weeks, we will be looking at how best to implement the relevant Sustainable Development Goal, achieving universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.” Tedros, as he prefers to be called, emphasised three areas he will focus on. They are: Implementing leadership priorities and measuring results. Delivering results, value for money, efficiency and earning trust. Reinforcing a talented, motivated and engaged staff. And he restated the top four priorities he said came from WHO member states during the year-long campaign. The priorities are: universal health coverage health emergencies women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health health impacts of climate and environmental change Of these, he said universal health coverage “is at the centre,” stressing women and children in particular. “For me, the key question of universal health coverage is an ethical one. Do we want our fellow citizens to die because they are poor?” he said. “Universal health coverage, as I said earlier, is a human rights issue. And the responsibility of national governments. It’s not only a technical matter but even more so a political one. Countries should compare their results to their peers and learn from each other.” WHO as Leader, and Partner Another emphasis of Tedros’s is on the leadership position of WHO, and on partnering. “WHO has a rightful role and is an undisputed leader in global health. When I met with the UN Secretary-General, he reinforced this role,” he said. “However, I also want WHO to work with any partner, public or private, who can help improve health. We want to be the partner of choice and this has to go beyond our WHO brand to how we actually work together to improve outcomes for the poor.” Image Credits: WHO Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."New WHO Director Tedros’s Opening Vision: People First" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.