Tedros Adhanom
, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), is on
course to serve a second term as the chief of the top health body. Ghebreyesus,
who has steered the WHO during the COVID-19 pandemic, is the only candidate
nominated by 28 countries.

Ghebreyesus has
been a former health and foreign minister of Ethiopia. He was first elected as
the director-general of WHO in 2017. Elections for the WHO come at a time when
the European Commission is suspending funding to WHO programmes in the
Democratic Republic of Congo over a major sexual abuse scandal reported by the

Also Read | Vaccine reluctance in Eastern Europe brings high COVID-19 cost

According to the
report, some 83 aid workers, many of them employed with the WHO, are accused to
have been involved in sexual exploitation and abuse in course of the Ebola
epidemic in Congo 2018 to 2020, an independent probe found last month.

Meanwhile, health
ministers of 194 member nations of the WHO are scheduled to hold an exceptional
assembly in November pushing for reform of the health organisation because of
WHO’s handling of the pandemic which many countries said left much to be desired.

Also Read | Europe’s COVID dead continue to pile, only region to see rise in cases, deaths

Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus drew support for the top job from France and Germany as well as
other European Union member states. Three African countries — Botswana, Kenya
and Rwanda — have also supported him. The United States, Britain, China and
Russia did not make it to the list of Ghebreyesus’ supporters.

The health agency
has issued a statement saying: “WHO can announce that a single candidate was proposed
by member states by the 23 September 2021 deadline: Dr Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus, who is the incumbent director-general.”

Interestingly, Ethiopia
has refused to nominate Ghebreyesus for the top job due to frictions over the
conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. In fact, the African Union
has not even discussed Ghebreyesus’ appointment during the latest summit,
according to diplomats.