WHO rescinds Mugabe appointment as ‘goodwill ambassador’

The World Health Organization walked back on its move to make Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe a “goodwill ambassador.” He has been condemned for rights violations and allowing the health care system to deteriorate.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Sunday that it had revoked the appointment of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe as the organizations “goodwill ambassador.”

“I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African to hold his post.

Read more: WHO director general: political will needed to transform Africa’s health system

The WHO came under fire immediately after it named Mugabe a “goodwill ambassador” on Friday. Zimbabwe’s once prosperous economy has been devastated under Mugabe’s 37- year rule. Like many public services, the health system has collapsed, with hospitals lacking basic medical supplies and medicines; nurses and doctors often go unpaid. Critics pointed to Mugabe’s need to seek medical assistance abroad as a testament to Zimbabwe’s crumbling health system.

More than two dozen medical organizations issued a statement saying they were “shocked and deeply con- cerned to hear of this appointment, given President Mugabe’s long track record of human rights violations and undermining the dignity of human beings.”

The groups said they raised the issue with the WHO chief but their concerns were initially ignored, while the United States called the decision “disappointing.”


Posted by on Nov 16 2017. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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