In DepthGlobal Health

WHO is ‘changing its DNA’ in bid to meet new goals

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Science  15 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6432, pp. 1134
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6432.1134

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The World Health Organization's (WHO's) director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has unveiled a series of reforms that he said would amount to "changing the DNA of the organization." In a speech given with the six WHO regional directors, Tedros unveiled numerous changes: The structure of the head office will change with the creation of key new posts, including a new assistant director-general to oversee the fight against antimicrobial resistances and a new post of chief scientist, tasked with making sure "WHO anticipates and stays on top of the latest scientific developments." Other changes aim to recruit top talent for instance, opening a new career path for scientists who want to stay in technical areas instead of becoming managers and plans for a WHO Academy in Lyon, France. Critics charge that the changes do not address the most pressing issues, however: WHO's lack of money and little power over how to spend it.