Black Doctor Heads Organization that Named Virus COVID-19

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the man who is currently taking the lead as Director General at WHO (World Health Organization). Dr. Tedros is an Ethiopian health scholar and microbiologist with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses to epidemics.

He became Director General of WHO in July 2017 and is the first Black person to ever serve in this role. He has formally served as both the Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia.

Immediately after taking office at WHO, Dr. Tedros outlined five key priorities for the agency: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO.

When the coronavirus global pandemic began in December 2019, Dr. Tedros and his team were the ones who named the virus COVID-19 and immediately began helping build countries’ capacity to prepare and respond. He has been credited with providing accurate information to fight the epidemic, training and mobilizing health workers, and accelerating research and development.

Dr. Tedros has also been credited with bringing together scientists, public health decision-makers, medical journalists, technology and social media platforms and civil society to help share reliable information, while reducing misinformation, rumors and myths about COVID-19.