Dr. Adhanom Ghebreysus: The Director-General of the World Health Organization and the Man Leading the Fight Against COVID-19

Early Tragedy

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus was born on Wednesday March 3, 1965 in Asmara, Eritrea. The moment he remembers most from his childhood is when he saw his brother dying due to having a weak immune system. Tedros decided that no child should ever suffer the same way again, and it is for that reason that he decided to dedicate his life to eradicating diseases from susceptible countries. After his bachelor’s degree in biology, he pursued masters in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London. He subsequently received a PhD in community health from the University of Nottingham in 2000.

The Minister at War Against Malaria

Once he returned to Ethiopia, he was appointed as the Minister of Health between 2005 and 2012. During his tenure, he built thousands of clinics and led a campaign that successfully reduced the child mortality rate by 30 per cent from 1990 and 2015.Moreover, the number of those who died of malaria was reduced by 75 per cent. He was then appointed as the Ethiopian Foreign Minister from 2012 to 2016.

Rise on the Global Stage

His time as Foreign Minister made him a big name on the global stage. In 2016, he decided to announce his candidacy for Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and both the African Union and the ministers of health of the continent endorsed him. On 23 May 2017, Tedros was officially elected as the next Director-General for the WHO.

The Biggest Opponent of His Career: the Coronavirus

Although Tedros has been on the frontline of the fight against rising child mortality rates and malaria his biggest fight would come in the form of a diabolical opponent: the coronavirus. The coronavirus was born in late 2019 in Wuhan, China but it has since travelled all over the world and forced people to stop travelling, going on outings and even going to work. As this is a unique virus, scientists have been hard at work trying to find a cure for the disease. Meanwhile, Tedros has asked governments and policy makers around the world to put their citizens on lockdown or quarantine. The fight against the virus is not over yet, but if Tedros is successful in leading the fight then he will surely be remembered as on of history’s greatest heroes.