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Ethiopia's Candidate to Lead the World Health Organization Contracts Foot-in-Mouth Disease

 Tedros Adhanom. Creative Commons image b y Russell Watkins/UK Department for International Development.

Tedros Adhanom. Creative Commons image by Russell Watkins/UK Department for International Development.

Ethiopia's candidate for Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, shocked many observers when he displayed a complete lack of knowledge about global health strategies during a candidates’ forum on November 2, 2016. Though Adhanom has served in the Ethiopian government as both minister of health and foreign affairs, he failed to answer a basic question about his claims that he is running a campaign on a framework that promotes the health needs of the developing world.

“Sorry, the question is not clear, can you clarify?” he answered, when a representative from Brazil asked him to explain why he claims to represent the developing world, when the agenda he advocated in his presentation espoused the health agenda of the developed world. Instead of answering the question, Adhanom tried to engage in a conversation with the Brazilian representative, apparently hoping to grasp what the question meant. Awkwardly, the moderator intervened, trying to help Adhanom understand the question.

Adhanom also stumbled with another question at the same forum, when asked about the technical cooperation of WHO member states:

This embarrassing performance could hurt Adhanom’s current political campaign for the post of head of the global health body. Recently, he was relieved of his ministerial duties in the Ethiopian government, following a cabinet reshuffle. During his presentation last week, Adhanom said the Ethiopian government replaced him with a new foreign minister, so he could focus on the campaign.

Though he's endorsed by African Union, Adhanom has been under continuous assault from prominent members of Ethiopian civil society and opposition groups, who argue that his ties with the Ethiopian regime should disqualify him from leading WHO. These groups have also started an online petition.

When Adhanom launched his campaign in April 2016, Ethiopia was beset by anti-government protests. Citing the government's violent actions against protesters, 20 Ethiopian political and civic organizations signed a letter declaring Adhanom unfit to lead the World Health Organization, saying he is the face of the regime.

The letter read: “Mr. Adhanom did not lend confidence as a public health figure while he served as the Minister of Health in Ethiopia. […] His tenure as head of the Federal Ministry of Health was fraught with mismanagement and incompetence.”

The letter refers to an audit conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, which was prompted by reports of “mismanagement of money and incompetence.” Subsequent research available on the Internet confirmed that the audit uncovered detailed evidence of financial mismanagement.

In a separate letter, one activist outlined his reasons why Mr. Adhanom should not be allowed anywhere near the World Health Organization.

The human rights website “Al Mariam” also offers a strong denunciation of Adhanom's WHO candidacy:

Adhanom’s shallowness and cluelessness in matters of foreign policy and diplomacy are simply incredible.

His public speeches and statements generally lack not only substance and coherence, but are simply nonsensical. In July 2015, Adhanom said  Ethiopia  is a democracy with one hundred percent of the vote! (Of course, so did Obama. Two “nonsenses” don’t make one bit of sense!)

Adhanom’s diplomatic speeches are chock full of platitudes, clichés, buzzwords and hokum. He has a distinct proclivity to frame complex issues in worn out and left over phrases from the days of student activism of his late boss, thugmaster Meles Zenawi.

Adhanom manifests little understanding of international diplomacy and appears to lack even an elementary understanding of international law, treaties and conventions.   

Meanwhile, Adhanom has been making the case that he would bring a fresh perspective to the WHO's leadership. Other than the African Union, some pro-government diaspora groups and international figures have also backed his candidacy.

Adhanom has relied heavily on social media to build his “brand” in Ethiopia — a country where access to social media is highly limited. Access isn't so restricted, however, that Adhanom's gaffes at the Nov. 2 forum haven't led to mockery online, where critics have enjoyed making fun of his surprising ignorance.

On Twitter, the hashtag #NoTedros4WHO gained popularity, with many users arguing that Adhanom has disqualified himself from holding any position at the WHO.

  • Lundat

    Endlak, as an Ethiopian reader, I am disappointed by your completely biased report. Clearly, you don’t like the current Ethiopian government, which in and of itself is not a problem. But, you do not need to go on bashing the single most accomplished and well-qualified Health Minister Ethiopia has ever had. Did you hear from his presentation (or from the research you hopefully conducted prior to writing this op-ed) that Ethiopia’s child mortality rate was reduced by 2/3rds during his time as the health minister? Majority of Ethiopia’s child mortality cases were preventable diseases that the north is not even concerned about. This, along with other major health care improvements in our developing country in areas like malaria and so forth (which by the way were so successful that Ethiopia’s neighboring countries also started implementing them), more than qualifies him for WHO’s Director General position and affirms his assertion that he is the candidate of the developing world. I read that you are pursuing your PHD in Journalism and Communications. Are you truly being an ethical journalist by omitting all of this man’s accomplishments, which he outlined in his presentation? Is a person not allowed to ask for the clarification of a question? Him asking a clarification of the question he was asked was essentially your only critique!! There was nothing at all wrong with his English.

    I really do not understand opposition groups among Ethiopia’s diaspora. I understand you were one of the founder’s of Zone 9 and have your own grievances against the government. But must you disagree with every single thing the Ethiopian government or any member of the government does, even the positive things? Is that Twitter picture necessary? Is what you are writing helpful to Ethiopia or Ethiopians in any way? The people whose interests you are supposedly trying to represent? Please, I beg you, leb enegza.

    • Million Hailu

      LEB ENEGZA! I like that!

      • Lundat

        Thank you! God bless.

    • GMG

      Tedros fumbled. No body did this to him. He is not competent. The WHO job is not for him. Period. He does measure up to the other candidates. He is part of TPLF. He is a criminal. “child mortality rate was reduced by 2/3rds ” that is just like the make belief TPLF 11 % econ growth. He should cause him self further embarrassment. Better for him to withdraw.

      • Lundat

        He fumbled because he asked for a clarification? I disagree. Just because you declare that he is incompetent does not make him so. Maybe if you back your statements with facts, there could be a positive discussion.

        • GMG

          What was not clear in the Brazilian gentleman’s question ? Go back and watch the video. He is a Phd. Come on!

          • Lundat

            I did watch the video actually, the entire 1:30 hours (and some of the other countries’ candidates presentations). I went back and watched this particular clip like you suggested. The Brazilian gentleman premised his question by stating his understanding of the various stances of Dr. Tedros. The Dr. is be allowed to ask for a clarification! There are no rules against it. More importantly, his answer after the clarification is what matters. He mentioned how he talked to 182 countries (that’s essentially almost all countries in the world – seems like an indicator of competency to me) and their health care needs. He talked about the different health care needs of the developing and the developed world and how he would be a leader for both. He also talked about how he believes universal health care is a right for all, and does not need to be a divided issue between the north and south. He emphasized that he will be the candidate for ALL, but that he hails from the developing world.

          • devi

            The Brazilian was clearly trying to stump Dr. Tedros and he did not succeed in doing so.

          • Getahun

            Hey the commenter above I find it a bit desterbing that you’re just short by “l” to be know as “devil”

          • devi

            And with a statement like that, it’s clear that you are short of several hundred million brain cells to be considered intelligent

        • Daniboy

          Lundat, in Ethiopia there is no government! Ask yourself when you use the word.

          • devi

            News flash to Daniboy: THERE IS A GOVERNMENT IN ETHIOPIA. Just because you do not like it, does not mean it doesn’t exist.

      • devi

        You are an absolute ignoramous. The Hungarian also asked for clarification. You people (jealous Ethiopians) are an absolute global embarrassment. Perhaps it’s a result of starvation of just plain bad genes that make you stupid. What does a political party have to do with someone’s intelligence. Dr. Tedros gave a thorough and intriguing presentation. He is the first black candidate ever to get so far and you idiots are going over board with baseless, mindless, unintelligent THIRD WORLD arguments. Only politically motivated ignoramuses would do what you are doing and you have definitely shown how extraordinarily stupid you are.

        • GMG

          Devi, My Ethiopian pride prevents not to go low to where you are. The world knows what type of a criminal organization TPLF is and Tedros is a key member. You are a hired gun and. go ahead work for your living. You can cry , whine and curse. Tedros blundered and has no chance.

          • devi

            Stuff it, GMG. You are a political hack.

          • Right Wing

            yeah Thanks BMG

        • Beki

          Devi Dr. Tedros campaign is based on performance and knowledge of the subject not on ethnic background & political views so, concerned staffs will probably decide from a professional point of view. No worries! But, did you say the people of Ethiopia are not complaining? Ohh trust me more than 85%of the people are complaining including those who are supporting the leading regime. If you think that the Diaspora community are the only one that’s because they know the truth and the right to protest is respected where they are living and giving you the wider image more than 6 million people took the street by risking their life to ask the same questions as the Diaspora community but more than 3000 people were killed also hundreds of thousands got detained still the damage on the Diaspora community is zero that’s called democracy. Let me widen it more another hundreds of thousands of people left their country and took the most dangerous roads because the problem in Ethiopia is more than you can imagine. As a brother I advise you to be rational and analyze informations based on fact.

          • Embibel

            Thank you brother Also don’t forget as soon as these people including him came to power they closed the only malaria protection institute in northern part of Ethiopia ( Gondar ) in order to eradicate the Amara ethnic group. A few years later they told the world in their theater parliament that two million Amara people aren’t accounted for!! Him and his group should stand in front ICC not WHO!!!! We will never forget!!!

          • Lundat

            Embibel, do you really believe what you just wrote? Where is your evidence? 2M people disappear and this is the first time we are hearing about it? Ere behig yene wondim/ehit, yemininagerewin ewneta eyemeremerin.

          • Embibel

            You can hear it from the horse mouth himself,go back and search the archives he (the dead pm of yours) made speech to the stooges at the parliament!!!

          • devi

            Please knock it off. The genuine change in malaria incidence came after Dr. Tedros implemented world class, innovative, evidence-based, scientifically controlled, results-producing strategies. Search the medical literature. For that feat alone, you should be proud that your countryman did that.

          • devi

            Definitely not true. Your comment is a pants-on-fire-lie. When the political party that you hate so much came to power malaria was spreading like crazy and children under 5 were dying of malaria at an alarming rate. The programs that Dr. Tedros devised (massive bed net implementation and mosquito abatement) dramatically lowered the rate of malaria by 90 percent. Nowhere on the African continent had any other country experienced such a stunning plunge in malaria incidence. Please learn the science before you make baseless politically motivated statements that reveal your lack of knowledge. The article by Endalk, which has drawn this discussion, stinks like a pile of monkey doo 10 miles high.

          • devi

            Please stop with the exaggerated numbers. The numbers are not credible.

        • Gru

          Apparently everyone who doesn’t agree with you is an ’embarrassment’ ‘ignoramous’ has ‘bad genes’ ‘stupid’ ‘idiot’. And you say stuff like “The people who live in Ethiopia are not complaining about the government ” Dude (or dudette), you ARE the Ethiopian government.

          • devi

            Dude, I live nowhere near Ethiopia. You have to stop being so small-minded and drenched in local politics. The Ethiopian government does not have global reach.

    • Tesfay

      <>

      What a lier?

      This guy lived there under a heavy propaganda on under a totalitarian regime.
      the WHO will be a laughing stock if they ever elect this guy.

      • Lundat

        That is obviously my opinion and I say that because of the great progress in health care that Ethiopia has achieved (indeed even surpassed the MDGs). The health care progress is documented not just by the Ethiopian government but also WHO. No need to call me names, I don’t see how that helps your argument, or the democratic ways you claim to seek if you believe in undermining others’ opinions by name calling.

      • devi

        Tesfay, you should stick to Amharic because you never learned to spell in English. And yes, Lundat is correct: THE SINGLE MOST ACCOMPLISHED AND WELL-QUALIFIED HEALTH MINISTER ETHIOPIA HAS EVER HAD !!!!!!

    • Fegegta

      Man, Teddy is not qualified to run a kindergarten let alone WHO. He is a complete disaster. Besides, he is member of the gang that is responsible for human rights abuse in Ethiopia. Its funny, uproariously funny that he even tried to get a position in the highest office in the world as if the mess he created in the land of his birth is not enough. What a power addict!

      • devi

        Fegegta, another blithering idiot with no idea what he/she is talking about and dripping with a smarmy political agenda. Trust me, no one in the larger world cares about your silly political complaints. You are an idiot.

    • Kedqama

      Lundat, I would have liked to agree with you that Dr Ted’s performance should not have been subjected to this level of scrutiny and public humiliation, but he is not a private citizen. You can believe the official figures about health care “progress” in Ethiopia, but, my friend, I lived it and my reality is different. For me it is all violence– violence of corruption, nepotism, discrimination and murder. Have you ever been to health care providers personally? I was and I can tell you many examples. One intance was the students abused by the police but denied any medical attention because they protested “against the government”. He authorized that, expressly or tacitly. Have you heard about prisoners who suffered and are still suffering because of lack of medical attention? I am sure you don’t want me to mention names here because they are too many to mention. No ethical medical professional would be part of a regime that runs a torture chamber. Do not believe the rhetoric and make believe figures. They tell selective stories. Ethiopian health care system is not any better and definitely Tedros has done nothing but cook figures for perverse purposes

      • devi

        Kedqama, you are an idiot, too. The only violence that is occurring has been inspired by the band of terrorist thugs, GInbot 7 and jihadist Jewar Mohammed. Their juvenile agendas stink.

        • Lundat

          Devi, I know you are coming from a good place and frustration. I completely condemn Ginbot & and Jewar Mohammed as well. I don’t think we should insult one another when there is a dialogue…it will only agitate people instead of having them see your point of view. God bless!

      • Lundat

        It’s perfectly fine for people to scrutinize Dr. Tedros’ candidacy. The scrutiny that the diaspora opposition community poses is unfounded. The doctor’s English skills surpass almost all commentators’ English aptitude on this post (and that’s putting it mildly).

        The official figures don’t just come from the government. They come from various sources. Please see this video from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. https://twitter.com/melindagates/status/779311016710664192 . Of course, I hope we can agree that the Gates foundation is an independent/unbiased entity?

        All I am trying to say is that we do not need to criticize every single thing Ethiopia does. There is a dangerous precedent in the diaspora community of being unwilling to recognize a single accomplishment achieved by the ruling party. I don’t see how that helps anyone! We need to focus on trying to have productive and founded criticisms. Throwing out false accusations doesn’t help anyone. It only makes the world look away when the real grievances are presented! Dr. Tedros’ candidacy for the WHO’s director general is good for Ethiopia and for the developing world!

        History will look back at some of our diaspora community and condemn them for the unrelenting source of destruction they have become. They have the resources and wonderful opportunities to affect good and positive changes in Ethiopia – I hope we can all learn to gravitate towards that.

        • Bilal Yassin

          You trying to be civil in uncivilized world and you pick and choose what you wanna believe in and ignore the rest.You only focused on what weyanea had accomplished.You deliberately ignored there crime.1000s of Kids are in jail as we speak,agazi kills people with empunity … in the hospital you go for goiter operation and they take out your kidney.
          Abo be fair . Blind support won’t do them any good !!

          • Lundat

            I don’t think I am picking and choosing what to believe. At least you have acknowledged that the government has accomplished some major things. The government is not without major faults. We are discussing Dr. Tedros’ candidacy here. It is my opinion that he has primarily been a force of profound good for Ethiopia, especially for the rural poor (80% of our population). His service as minster of health has been applauded by the world. Blind hatred towards the government won’t do us any good either!

            P.s. Made up facts will not do us any good either! Where is the evidence that when people go for goiter operations, their kidneys are deliberately taken out? That’s just ridiculous!! Or are you talking about a medical mistake? Such statements completely deter our society from having any productive discussion.

          • Gru

            There was a goof at one of the hospitals recently. I think Zewditu. Look it up.

          • Lundat

            I did hear about that incident a couple of months ago. Of course that was an isolated medical mistake and not a deliberate mass action like what the post above seems to suggest. There was a mix up of two patients. An absurd medical mistake that shouldn’t have happened of course, and the hospital should settle the damage with the patients.

    • devi

      Lundat, Thank you for defending Dr. Tedros. I trained as did Dr. Tedros at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine but instead went into journalism. When Dr. Tedros told the reviewers last week that he contracted malaria trying to save his people from that horrific infection, I cried. For most who study these diseases, as I did, you learn about these disabling conditions in the abstract.

      Dr. Tedros learned about malaria first hand.

      He gave a compelling presentation as good, and possibly better, than the others for several key reasons. The other 5 are either academics, members of the WHO hierarchy or from wealthy countries with enormous resources. Dr. Tedros’s techniques (millions of bed nets and massive mosquito control) dramatically cut the rate of malaria in Ethiopia, which is something that people there today enjoy. He increased the number of doctors while he was health minister and helped drive down maternal and infant mortality.

      I must add this, if Endalk is genuinely a journalist, then he never learned a basic but key principle of the craft, which is HOW TO WRITE A CLEAR AND UNBIASED STORY. The only people who are complaining about Dr. Tedros, Endalk, are idiots like you with a political axe to grind. All of you have maliciously fanned out all over the internet making all kinds of crazy claims and showing up where Dr. Tedros speaks only to shout at him.

      Why are you people so incredibly stupid and juvenile? Smear campaigns never work, Endalk. They only show how ignorant and thoughtless that the people who doing the smearing really are. I doubt that you will ever get a real job in journalism. You are a lousy, biased excuse of a journalist. Leb enegza!

      • Zerihun

        You cried when your compatriot contracted a disease? This is the hilarious zeal of a complete deluded beneficiary of the current government. The entire world is aware of the human rights abuses. It is hilariously hypocritical to talk about hoping to manage the health and wellness of millions in the world, while you stand idle to abuses in your own home.

        Go read your history. You defend idiocy and hypocrisy with the zeal of the nazi followers.

        • devi

          You are an idiot Zerihun. You have a political agenda and care about nothing other than your twisted politics and the Ginbot thugs.

      • Kedqama

        devi– i didn’t know you can learn about malaria ‘first hand’ by contracting the disease. i can see why you think everyone else who disagrees with you is an idiot.

        • devi

          Lundat wrote above that I should go high when you go low. So, I will not call you an idiot any longer, even though you are. I will refrain from calling you an idiot. God Bless!

          • Kedqama

            i think you have serious mental issue. please go see real doctor

          • devi

            So now you are a psychoanalyst? And you are a psychoanalyst based on what, a few posts seen in a thread? I now totally rest my case. All of you wackos who have fanned out all over the internet casting aspersions against Dr. Tedros are indeed batcrap crazy. No question about it. All of you are a joke.

    • devi

      Lundat, Thank you for defending Dr. Tedros. I trained as did Dr.
      Tedros at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine but instead
      went into journalism. When Dr. Tedros told the reviewers last week that
      he contracted malaria trying to save his people from that horrific
      infection, I cried. For most who study these diseases, as I did, you
      learn about them in the abstract.

      Dr. Tedros learned about malaria first hand.

      He gave a compelling presentation as good, and possibly better, than
      the others for several key reasons. The other 5 are either academics,
      members of the WHO hierarchy or from wealthy countries with enormous
      resources. Dr. Tedros’s techniques (millions of bed nets and massive
      mosquito control) dramatically cut the rate of malaria in Ethiopia,
      which is something that people there today enjoy. He increased the
      number of doctors while he was health minister and helped drive down
      maternal and infant mortality. I must add this, if Endalk is
      genuinely a journalist, then he never learned a basic but key principle
      of the craft, which is HOW TO WRITE A CLEAR AND UNBIASED STORY. The only
      people who are complaining about Dr. Tedros, Endalk, are idiots like
      you with a political axe to grind. All of you have maliciously fanned
      out all over the internet making all kinds of crazy claims and showing
      up where Dr. Tedros speaks only to shout at him. This kind of activity
      could backfire for you. Other countries might feel sorry for a man who
      was born in one of the most impoverished countries of the world, who
      contracted malaria and is now besieged by idiots as he fights to become the leader of WHO. That’s a powerful story.

      Why don’t you leave Dr. Tedros alone? Why are you people so incredibly
      stupid and juvenile? Smear campaigns never work, Endalk. They only show
      how ignorant and thoughtless that the people who doing the smearing
      really are. I doubt that you will ever get a real job in journalism. You
      are a lousy, biased excuse of a journalist. Leb enegza!

    • devi

      Lundat, Thank you for defending Dr. Tedros. I trained as did Dr.
      Tedros at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine but instead
      went into journalism. When Dr. Tedros told the reviewers last week that
      he contracted malaria trying to save his people from that horrific
      infection, I cried. For most who study these diseases, as I did, you
      learn about them in the abstract.

      Dr. Tedros learned about malaria first hand.

      He gave a compelling presentation as good, and possibly better, than
      the others for several key reasons. The other 5 are either academics,
      members of the WHO hierarchy or from wealthy countries with enormous
      resources. Dr. Tedros’s techniques (millions of bed nets and massive
      mosquito control) dramatically cut the rate of malaria in Ethiopia,
      which is something that people there today enjoy. He increased the
      number of doctors while he was health minister and helped drive down
      maternal and infant mortality.

      I must add this, if Endalk is
      genuinely a journalist, then he never learned a basic but key principle
      of the craft, which is HOW TO WRITE A CLEAR AND UNBIASED STORY. The only
      people who are complaining about Dr. Tedros, Endalk, are idiots like
      you with a political axe to grind. All of you have maliciously fanned
      out all over the internet making all kinds of crazy claims and showing
      up where Dr. Tedros speaks only to shout at him. This kind of activity
      could backfire for you. Other countries might feel sorry for a man who
      was born in one of the most impoverished countries of the world, who
      contracted malaria and is now besieged by idiots as he fights to become
      the leader of WHO. That’s a powerful story.

      Why don’t you leave
      Dr. Tedros alone? Why are you people so incredibly stupid and juvenile?
      Smear campaigns never work, Endalk. They only show how ignorant and
      thoughtless that the people who doing the smearing really are. I doubt
      that you will ever get a real job in journalism. You are a lousy, biased
      excuse of a journalist. Leb enegza!

    • devi

      Thank you for defending Dr. Tedros. I trained as did Dr.
      Tedros at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine but instead
      went into journalism. When Dr. Tedros told the reviewers last week that
      he contracted malaria trying to save his people from that horrific
      infection, I cried. For most who study these diseases, as I did, you
      learn about them in the abstract.

      Dr. Tedros learned about malaria first hand.

      He gave a compelling presentation as good, and possibly better, than
      the others for several key reasons. The other 5 are either academics,
      members of the WHO hierarchy or from wealthy countries with enormous
      resources. Dr. Tedros’s techniques (millions of bed nets and massive
      mosquito control) dramatically cut the rate of malaria in Ethiopia,
      which is something that people there today enjoy. He increased the
      number of doctors while he was health minister and helped drive down
      maternal and infant mortality.

      I must add this, if Endalk is genuinely a journalist, then he never learned a basic but key principle of the craft, which is HOW TO WRITE A CLEAR AND UNBIASED STORY. The only people who are complaining about Dr. Tedros, Endalk, are idiots like
      you with a political axe to grind. All of you have maliciously fanned
      out all over the internet making all kinds of crazy claims and showing
      up where Dr. Tedros speaks only to shout at him. This kind of activity
      could backfire for you. Other countries might feel sorry for a man who
      was born in one of the most impoverished countries of the world, who
      contracted malaria and is now besieged by idiots as he fights to become
      the leader of WHO. That’s a powerful story.

      Why don’t you leave
      Dr. Tedros alone? Why are you people so incredibly stupid and juvenile?
      Smear campaigns never work, Endalk. They only show how ignorant and
      thoughtless that the people who doing the smearing really are. I doubt
      that you will ever get a real job in journalism. You are a lousy, biased
      excuse of a journalist. Leb enegza!

    • Embibel

      How do you spell a CHOLERA in Ethiopia by his administration ? AWD ( Acute watery diarrhea) that’s what the media is allowed to use including major foreign media’s ! The word cholera will land you in jail!!

    • Kebere Belay

      I guess you are trying to engage the writer in a civilized conversation but I’m not sure if the article measures up to that standard of conversation.

      • Lundat

        That’s true. I just didn’t want this baseless op-ed to grossly mislead people reading it. The op-ed completely obliterates the truth. If the writer is trying to impact change by trying to manipulate Ethiopians with false and degrading reports, only serving as a roadblock to the country’s progress, and providing zero solutions to her problems, he needs to know that most of us Ethiopians oppose stances like his.

        • Kebere Belay

          I was reading through the comments here and it’s very sad to see the level of negativity and bad choice of words. I should say I’m humbled by the calmness and civility you demonstrated in all your conversation here. That is exactly the type of conversation we need to have if we are to make progress no matter which side of the issue we are on.

          • Lundat

            Thank you Kebere, you have also stayed civil and on point in your comments. It gives me hope that there are people out there willing to have candid conversations without the need of insults, false or misguided statements. God bless :)

    • Daniboy

      You are just moron! What did Tedros accomplished?

      • devi

        And daniboy, you obviously do not know how to read medical literature because if you did, you would not have ask what Dr. Tedros accomplished. To those who are able to read the complex biostatistics of scientific papers, the accomplishments are obvious. Therefore the only moron in this region of the thread is YOU!!!

    • Merha-Tsidik Le’oul
  • ERTA

    The world body organizational has as many accents as its members when delegates address any meeting in any issues. For that matter, the issues for the Ethiopian candidate asking the questions to be repeated is not something unusually. If anyone had followed any UN meetings this kind of back and forth conversations for clarifications is the norm. For most Ethiopian academia speaking English seems to be considered the only language that defines professionalism. A lot of scientists around the globe do not acquire fluency in English. It means in Ethiopian academia these people are not educated since the measure of intellect is scale by only how well a person speaks English. The representative from Brazil who posed the questions to the candidate from Ethiopia had very strong accent to be understood. If that delegate had been living where I live, he would have hard time to integrate to USA society make a living let alone to be a delegate in the UN. As a matter of fact the candidate from Ethiopia did the right thing asking for clarifications for a point he did not understand. It is a rule of thumb to ask questions to clarify a point before going further in any conversation when there is a doubt that issues can be misconstrued for lack of clarity to begin with. It is interesting to read a lot of people commenting about a single conservation without understanding the general rule of communications, if in doubt ask. I think the candidate from Ethiopia did an excellent job when he asked for clarification. The only people who don’t ask when they don’t understand an issue are arrogant people. Actually, I posed the questions the Brazilian delegate presented at the UN to some people in my university in the USA if they can answer the question without further clarifications; none of them were be able to understand the questions to comprehend the content of the questions. These are professors who teach in the department of educations at the university who prepare high school teachers how to teach second language speakers in the state.

    • devi

      What a wonderful essay!

    • Right Wing

      dump talk

      • devi

        Better than your pigeon English!

        • Right Wing

          prove it Devil

          • devi

            You proved it yourself. You can’t spell.

  • Right Wing

    Tedros cannot lead WHO. He recruited at first place because African Union promised to help him win the election. But this is called #Nepotism. they are upgrading their experience tp corrupt things from Africa to Global level. the society must not be foolish by this.

    • devi

      Right Wing, you are an unadulterated idiot.

      You should learn to speak English before you try to write in it to insult someone. Your attempt was feeble, and yes, stupid. This sentence reads as if a mental deficient wrote it: “…they are upgrading their experience tp (sic) corrupt things from Africa to Global level. the society must not be foolish by this.”

      WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?

      Go back to school Right Wing. You are definitely an unadulterated idiot.

      • Amare A

        You’re using words you don’t understand, friend. And you’re getting angry. You continually insult peoples english while yours also needs considerable work. Your compatriot is not qualified for the position by any means. There is a difference between asking for clarification and deflecting. The question was clear and repeated. Now beat it.

        • devi

          You would be totally surprised what I understand, Amare. My English needs no work because it is a not a second language. And Amare, you’re a punk. Now crawl back under your rock with the other Ginbot thugs.

      • Right Wing

        What matter is that you understood what I am saying. no need to write English perfectly. ha ha… that is funny using the same statement for 100 replies under a single article. I have been reading your defenses above and below. I don wanna criticize you for English but for my message you understood well. By the way Tedros Adhanom – killer in Oromia once filled his form saying English is my mother tongue. But he could not handle what Brazilian experts fired to him. what amazing thing is that the question was so simple and clear. This shows …………. fill the blank please devi ?

        • devi

          I didn’t understand your first message because it was in pigeon English. I do understand the one above and it is as narrow-minded and reckless as most of the others by Ginbot followers.

          Dr. Tedros is a superior global public health expert whether you like it or not. Attacking him so relentlessly online may backfire on you. Your attacks may sway people to vote for him out of sheer sympathy.

          Also, there were no Brazilian EXPERTS as you so wrongly point out. There was one Brazilian man with a convoluted question that didn’t make sense because he apparently had not thoroughly listened to Dr. Tedros’s presentation.
          .

          • Right Wing

            “…..Convoluted question….”? really? I don’t think so. By the way I am OLF and an Oromo proud boy. do not guess to say some thing or to decorate your debate. I do not like the man Tedros Adhanom not only me every people say the same. why I said that? because I have lost more than 1000 beloved Oromo sisters, brothers, fathers, teachers, elders… in a single year he did or said nothing about that. And Tedros showed nothing in the improvement of society health in Ethiopia. If exist tell with out the politics mind games….

            shameful thing is that no one could improve the pharmacy rules laid down by Baro Tumsa in 1970s. so is this man joking.or for real ? he could not even understand the words of experts….

          • devi

            Stuff it Right Wing. You are exaggerating and exaggeration is not a becoming trait. You have a political axe to grind and you are trying to stop the WHO from choosing Dr. Tedros as its head. Pure and simple.

            By the way, the people asking questions were not EXPERTS. They were a bunch of WHO hacks asking questions so that someone gets kicked out in the upcoming round in January.

            You, however, did not realize that. I doubt you even knew that the Brazilian’s question was stupid from the start. You, Right Wing, are drenched in local petty politics. You are full of hatred because you can’t see beyond your politics. You are trying to block someone from obtaining a post that has no direct benefit one way or the other for you personally. If Dr. Tedros gets the job, your life doesn’t change for the better or worse. If he doesn’t get the job the only thing for you is a moment of joy when you find out he didn’t get it. Nevertheless, your life does not change one way or the other.

            You are a sad little hater. I do not believe that you personally lost 1,000 loved ones. I think that you are lying in a weak attempt to prove a stupid political point, which is this: Dr. Tedros should not have the WHO post because a wicked little nobody named Right Wing doesn’t want him to have it.

          • Right Wing

            How much you paid for this mr. Devil?

          • devi

            I am not a “mister,” and no one is paying me. Your little prank, calling me “devil,” probably makes you feel powerful. You’re just a sad little nobody.

          • Right Wing

            you have to be sad because you are trying to convince people since you are fan of an idiot called M.r Adhanom. I am wondering why not you helped him coz he was shouting that he could not understand the Brazilians English. kkkkkk….. kolkollee

          • devi

            Beat it you little creep. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, other than to consider science and public health objectively in discussions about the WHO’s next leader. And that means without all of the insane, goofy, unrelated, twisted, exaggerated and politically motivated babble that you and your comrades continue to spew. Also, I highly recommend that you learn real English because pidgin English doesn’t make much sense. Have a wonderful day!

  • taye

    The position is a political position, not a technical one. You have to be able to lead, in an organisation that have 180+ bosses, some of them more powerful than others, with very powerful pharmaceutical companies pressuring you day in day out, etc. You have to please these people, without neglecting the voices of the third world etc..

    Teodros may have the abilities, but he will not have the necessary backing. African countries NEVER follow AU’s recommendation when it comes to voting. They just use it as a bargaining chip, to better sell their voting rights. So Teodros, think how you can better use your candidacy lo land somewhere else!

    • devi

      Stuff it Taye, you do no know what you are talking about. You crazy diaspora Ethiopians want a white person or Asian, as usual, to lead the WHO. These same whites and Asians blames all infectious diseases on Africans. Think about what you are doing by trying to drag down an African candidate.

      • Right Wing

        come on devi cool down

  • Eyob

    I don’t know why people like you write completely unfair articles like this one just because you don’t like government. Keep writing them, we feel sorry for you, may be this will help you on your application for your asylum status where ever your staying. And for medias outlets like this one hope you site will generate much need income. And if you could see me I’m giving you the finger you deserve.

  • Pingback: Ethiopia news | Ethiopië()

  • Roza

    This article is a typical example of the suicidal-mindset in the Ethiopian politics. Personal jealousy and ethnic-hatred used as a main political consumption by the various opposition factions is the sort of cancer that dwarfs Ethiopia’s political progress. That’s exactly what you see in this article.
    People like Al Mariam and Endalk, who as you can tell even from their names, are direct descendants of the communist dictators that Adhanom’s party annihilated, and are sleepless to sabotage any progress or achievement made by the current government or its members. But, the fact is the members of EPRDF/ TPLF are the sort of unique survivors who are pulling Ethiopia out of centuries-old quagmire. So, these blind attacks and twists won’t and should not be taken seriously.
    Dr. Adhanom, despite his not so superb English accent, is a man of vision with fierce execution tenacity who’s worked his way up to where he’s today. The people hating on him day and night are the very same people from the old communist camp that got completely defeated in Ethiopia’s armed struggle and during the post-war peaceful process that Tedros has been a part of.
    I hope the WHO understands the sort of very challenging ethnic-based political divisions that gets easily abused by the opposition in Ethiopia. Please be sure that there are sizeable numbers of Ethiopians who will do anything to destroy him or his dreams because of his ethnic affiliation. So, please give him a fair judgement based on his own records and vision not these attacks from remnants of the Mengistu regime. If the developing world has to be considered as part of WHO, you have one of the most uniting candidates, as seen during his stellar career in a very volatile part of the world, who has done his job with grace avoiding the low-level bait from the political actors and detractors. Besides, this man has the whole of Africa behind him for a reason.

  • Habtu Shumoy

    What is wrong with asking someone to repeat what he/she is saying if you don’t listen him/her well? for me what matters is the response for the question as Dr. Tedy has already done it well. This flawed article and other few Diasporas who are barking on the Candidacy of this Gentleman have no any reason to oppose him except the deep-rooted personal hate. Please those of few Government opposition Ethiopian Diasporas discus ideas not people!! Why don’t you be a critic of his so called plans and prove us he is the least fit and suggest which ones are better candidates, so as you may help others to choose the best for our world instead of showing the world that you are just simple ‘haters’.

    • devi

      Bravo Habtu!! Thanks for writing an insightful post.

    • Right Wing

      how many times? why? no man else on the earth?

      • Habtu Shumoy

        I never say there is no one better than him!! I know there are hundreds or may be thousands of Africans who can be better candidates but i think this is personal desire. Others might not be interested to have this position and he interested and he is just computing. simple. I mean you I can also compute provided that we fulfill the criteria mainly educational and some work experience. This is not a big deal guys. It is a matter of being boss of an NGO!! he has to pass though many screening and i don’t think all these are easy to pass for different reasons even though one has all the necessary experiences and educational status. So, please lets cool it down!!

        • Right Wing

          we all know that Tedisha is trying to bake some more breads than solve problems. that is funny.

  • ተስፋዬ

    Dr. Tedros is a charming fellow, no question about that. But is he the best Ethiopia could present to the world community? Not by a long shot. There is no need to be partisan about competency. You have it or you don’t. One simple formula is whether the candidate is able to understand the question. Tedros simply did not understand the question. A panelist intervened to simplify for him thus disgracing him further. Don’t take me wrong. I too am pained and embarrassed because Tedros is Ethiopian and is, so to speak, competing for the post in my name. Here are some facts. As foreign minister Tedros used his good offices and the nation’s resources to campaign for WHO post [see MoFA website]. It is unethical to use public office to promote oneself. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious; but to know ones limitations takes wisdom. Tedros heavily relied upon the connections of Jeff Sachs [who is a “friend” and special adviser at the UN Global Health], Microsoft guy Bill Gates and a US lobby group. Indeed Tedros made an excellent presentation. As anyone familiar with presentations knows that is the easy part because presentations do not reflect the presenter’s competence. Rather what counts is the Q & A session from the floor. Does the presenter really know his stuff? How crude or sophisticated are his responses? and so on.

    Tedros is a good researcher in tropical diseases as that is his competency and training. He never saw the running of an agency let alone the nation’s Health. And yet he was given that post. He tried to re-organize the Health department. His tenure saw few successes in inoculations and mother-child care but overall was racked by corruption never seen in the history of the ministry. He was appointed to lead the nation’s foreign affairs even though he never trained as a diplomat. His only experience with foreign nations up to that point was his stay in the UK for his MSc and PhD. I am just being dispassionate and blunt and not trying to disgrace him as some are doing at present in different media. Well, he was appointed to lead the nation’s foreign ministry simply on the merit propounded by government-run media. Obviously, also because Tedros happened to be a Tigrayan and politburo member. My heart breaks when I consider the competence of the likes of Dr. Aklilu Habte, Dr. Aklilu Lemma, Bekele Geleta, Dr. Minasse Haile, Ketema Yifru, etc, running international and domestic organizations and compare that to second and third rate office holders such as Seyoum Mesfin who could not comprehend the rulings of the arbitration committee following the border dispute with Eritrea. Now you have DebreTsion in charge of four major national agencies [Telecom, Information Tech, Economy/Finance, and Security] and also a Deputy Prime Minister. Is this madness or what? Remember this is one of Meles Zenawi’s legacies. To appoint and award the incompetent who are willing to barter their souls for filthy lucre. Just last month the ruling minority told the world it is reshuffling its cabinet. Tedros was replaced by Workineh. Workineh was presented as Oromo. The fact is that Ethiopians know full well that Workineh is a Tigrayan born in Oromo region. Ethiopians have to put a stop to such madness. I can go on listing items of this nature the facts of which are in public domain. As I said above I am simply stating what is out there. The nation is being short-changed on account of politicizing power. Had the candidacy for WHO been open to all Ethiopians I am sure there are a bunch out there who are competent and would have made us all proud.

    • devi

      ተስፋዬ — you are the biggest idiot on the entire thread. you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about or why you are condemning someone you don’t know. you probably have never worked in the field of public health or have the slightest clue what that entails.

      • ተስፋዬ

        Dear Devi [I was tempted to add “l” to your name but I know you are Dawit], Devi, You are an embarrassment. You need to learn how to respectfully respond to comments. You are not sure if I worked in the field of public health or international relations, etc. May I suggest that you try to control your childish tantrum and simply state where you disagreed with my comments? If you feel I misrepresented the facts please point out which ones. Please make sure you stay away from hearsay and tribal opinion. Thank you for your interests in the affairs of our country.

        Dear Shumoy, There is nothing wrong with asking a question to be repeated. The request however is revealing of the person’s language facility and quickness of mind to sort out complex issues. In other words, There is everything wrong with not understanding the question first time and worse, having someone else to simplify for you and still failing to get it. Do you now see my point? I am not making this up. I viewed this from UN site like everybody else. I see you are in the same tribal boat with Devi because you assumed I am a “diaspora” and have a “deep-rooted personal hate” [sic] . What devil put it in your head that I hate Dr. Tedros? Is it because I did not address him as “Dr. Tedy” like you did? I think you failed to read the first line in my comments, “Dr. Tedros is a charming fellow.” Do you mind reading my comments again and pointing out where I showed deep seated hate and for who? Thanks.

        • devi

          I do not belong to a tribe. I do, however, have a deep appreciation for the scientific method, especially when evidence-based principles are applied to real-life situations and produce stellar results. I am standing up for science on this thread and a public health practitioner who understands how to get results.

  • DZ

    I watched the entire presentation and Q&A session, not just the clip circulating in the social media. I do not know what method the African Union uses to choose their candidates but it certainly is not hard to see the problems with Tedros Adhanom for WHO job. His lack of understanding of the topics he presented is clear to anyone with minimal professional experience. There was nothing in his presentation speech or his answers to the questions that appealed to me to see him as an educated and experienced person, let alone expect to see him competing for such a important position.
    AU should be condemned for ignoring their moral responsibilities and backing Mr. Adhanom because the incompetences he displayed in this drama are not only an embarrassment for himself or Ethiopia, but also for all Africans. There are many intellectuals, not only with technical and organizational management competences but also with great diplomatic and public speaking skills fit to represent Africa in this rare opportunity with an important institution.

    • devi

      You certainly have directed a lot of hate toward someone’s candidacy based on a single video. Have you ever bothered to watch any videos of the current director general of WHO, Margaret Chan? Have you noticed that she is not a great intellectual, that she speaks with an accent, is difficult to understand and played an embarrassing game of catch-up in the midst of numerous global infectious disease outbreaks? Why are you so hateful toward Dr. Tedros yet have no comments on anyone else?

    • Kebere Belay

      If you aren’t satisfied with Dr. Tedros’s presentation or the way he answered the questions, that is perfectly fine because you are entitled to your opinions. However you should know that your feeling is not the yardstick to measure his competency nor to judge the morality of the people who backed his candidacy. If African countries backed his candidacy that is because they know exactly what they are doing. They have seen the successful models of health care system he pioneered and in fact they are copying it. That means they delivered on their moral responsibility by backing his candidacy because otherwise it would have been morally wrong for them to copy his successful models but not vote for him. You also implied in your comment that you don’t see him as an educated and experienced person. Such a statement will only heart your credibility to make any remark regarding his qualification because you are engaging defamation rather than make comments based on facts.

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