Patrick Amoth appointed WHO Executive Board Chair

Acting Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth has Wednesday been appointed Chairperson of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board for a period of one year.

Making the announcement during the 149th session of the WHO Executive Board, Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan said the decision was reached after no objection was made during his nomination to the post.

“A deeply rewarding journey came to its conclusion today as I completed my tenure as Chair of 149th Session,” he said.

Amoth in accepting the new role thanked the entire WHO Membership for the faith and trust they have demonstrated in electing Kenya to serve as Chairperson of the Executive Board.

“This is not an honour that the Republic of Kenya takes lightly and I commit, on behalf of the Government of Kenya, to undertake the duties and responsibilities entrusted to this office with utmost commitment and humility,” he said.

Amoth also recognised and congratulated the outgoing Chair of the Board, Dr Vadhan, for his unparalleled leadership and steadfast dedication.

The Chair-elect noted that during his term, he hopes that the Member States can purpose to spare no effort in striving to end to the ongoing pandemic and secure a healthier and sustainable future.

“We must endeavour to utilize all the available tools at our disposal and remain steadfast in our fidelity to the basic founding principles of our great organization towards the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health,” he concluded.

Dr Vardhan will however continue to be a member of the Executive Board till 2023.

In May 2020, Amoth was elected to serve as the Vice President of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization.

Amoth who was elected alongside four other Vice Presidents during a virtual meeting on was to represent the Africa region and serve for a period of two years.

Dr Amoth is a medical doctor with a Master of Medicine (MMed) degree in Obstetrics/Gynaecology from the University of Nairobi.

He previously served as chief medical specialist (obstetrics/gynaecology)/ Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital Nairobi.

WHO’s Executive Board comprises 34 members elected for three-year terms.

The Chair of the Executive Board is elected by its members on being nominated by the Regional Committees of the six WHO Regions, by rotation.

The main functions of the Board are to implement the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly and advice and facilitate its work.

The annual Board meeting is held in January when the members agree upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered by the Health Assembly.

A second shorter meeting takes place in May, as a follow-up to the Health Assembly.

By Beth Nyaga


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