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WHO elects its first African leader

The World Health Organization has elected former Ethiopian health minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve as its next director-general, the United Nations agency announced Tuesday after three rounds of voting. Tedros, who goes by his first name, will be the first African to head WHO.

Tedros ran against Britain's David Nabarro, who headed up the U.N.'s response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and Sania Nishtar, Pakistan's first female cardiologist. The New York Times reported that during Tedros' tenure as Ethiopia's health minister, he "drastically cut deaths" from malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis, and neonatal problems; trained 40,000 women to be health workers; and greatly increased the number of graduates from medical school. During the election, however, Tedros faced accusations of covering up cholera outbreaks in Ethiopia, as well of being complicit in his home country's human rights violations.

Tedros will take over for Margaret Chan, who has headed the agency since 2006, on July 1.