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Following Outcry by Human Rights Groups, Mugabe Removed as WHO Ambassador
24 October 2017, 12:58 | Ruben Stone
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
After flood of outrage and concern was voiced by global leaders and health experts on Mugabe's appointment, Tedros said in a statement Sunday that he had "reflected" over the past few days and "decided to rescind the appointment".
Some global health leaders moved quickly to show support, commending the reversal. "This movement must work for everyone and include everyone", he said.
'Robert Mugabe fails in every way to represent the values World Health Organization should stand for'.
But Mr. Tedros said in a statement that he had listened to those expressing concerns and heard the "different issues" raised. "I depend on constructive debate to help and inform the work I have been elected to do".
In response, Zimbabwe's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walter Mzembi, said World Health Organization "has benefited tremendously from its decision in nominating President Mugabe to lead the fight against noncommunicable diseases through media amplification of World Health Organization itself".
And then there is the fact that Mugabe travels out of the country for his medical treatment - not exactly a ringing endorsement for the country's health system, is it? "He and his family go outside of the country for treatment in Singapore after he allowed our public hospitals to collapse".
Mugabe was head of the African Union when the bloc endorsed Tedros - a former health and foreign minister of Ethiopia - over other African candidates for the top post, without any real regional contest, they said.
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There is one doctor for every 100,000 patients in the country, as health workers leave the country in search of better opportunities, said Biti. The United States, which has imposed sanctions on Mugabe for alleged human rights violations, said it was "disappointed".
Who is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus?
Critics had described the appointment as 'surprising and disappointing'.
He added: "He has caused starvation in one of the most productive lands in the world". Rethinking the approach in light of World Health Organization values.
"The government of Robert Mugabe has brutalized human rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents and turned the breadbasket of Africa - and its health system - into a basket case", Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which monitors the performance of world body had said.
"The notion that the United Nations should now spin this country as a great supporter of health is, frankly, sickening", he said.
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