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: