World Medical Association Leaders Meet Candidates For World Health Organisation Post

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Representatives of the World Medical Association have had the opportunity to meet the seven candidates for the post of Director General of the World Health Organisation*. The WHO's executive board meets next week to begin the process of choosing a successor to take over from the current Director General, Hiroshi Nakajima, who steps down in May 1998.

Dr Anders Milton, chairman of the WMA Council, said: 'We discussed with all the candidates the issues that are confronting the WHO and the populations of the world relating to health. We are in agreement that health must now be given the very highest priority across the world and that the WHO has a vital part to play in bringing this about.

'The WMA believes very strongly that the Director General of WHO should have the vision and the leadership to put the WHO in the forefront of the formation of healthcare policy, working closely with other nongovernmental organisations. It is also important that the WHO strengthens its ties with the health professions across the world.

'After having met and discussed all these issues with the different candidates for the WHO post, the WMA is confident that all of them would fill this role well and we look forward to working closely with the successful candidate'.

*The seven candidates are:

George Alleyne, WHO regional director, the Americas;

  • Fernando Antezana, acting deputy director general, WHO;
  • Ebrahim Malick Samba, WHO regional director, Africa;
  • Uthon Muchtar Rafei, WHO regional director, Asia;
  • Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway;
  • Nafis Sadik, head of United Nations Population Fund;
  • Arif Batayneh, former health minister of Jordan.