Ministry of Health Acting Director General Dr Patrick Amoth elected to Chair the WHO Executive Board for the next one year.

Dr Amoth who took over the position yesterday during the Board meeting in Geneva, succeeds Dr Harsh Vardhan from India. During his term, there will be the key election of the Director General of the WHO, a function which he will preside over.

The Executive Board consists of thirty-four members. The World Health Assembly, taking into account an equitable geographical distribution, elects the Members entitled to designate a person to serve on the Board. Each of these Members appoints to the Board a person technically qualified in the field of health, who may be accompanied by alternates and advisers.

Kenya was elected to the Executive Board in 2019, and was previously represented by Dr. Masasabi John, until January 2020, when Dr. Amoth was appointed as the substantive Member. Kenya’s Ambassador in Geneva Dr. Cleopa Mailu is the alternate member.

These Members are elected for three years and may be re-elected. The Executive Board meets at least twice a year. However, its functions are coordinated by a Secretariat based at the WHO HQs, Geneva.

The Board elects its Chairman from among its members and its functions are;

(a) to give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly;

(b) to act as the executive organ of the World Health Assembly;

(c) to perform any other functions entrusted to it by the World Health Assembly;

(d) to advise the World Health Assembly on questions referred to it by that body and on matters assigned to the Organization by conventions, agreements and regulations;

(e) to submit advice or proposals to the World Health Assembly on its own initiative;

(f) to prepare the agenda of meetings of the World Health Assembly;

(g) to submit to the World Health Assembly for consideration and approval a general program of work covering a specific period;

(h) to study all questions within its competence;

(i) to take emergency measures within the functions and financial resources of the Organization to deal with events requiring immediate action. In particular, it may authorize the Director-General to take the necessary steps to combat epidemics, to participate in the organization of health relief to victims of a calamity and to undertake studies and research the urgency of which has been drawn to the attention of the Board by any Member or by the Director-General.

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