Kenya’s Acting Director-General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth has been elected to Chair the World Health Organization Executive Board for the next one year.
This was revealed on Wednesday by outgoing chairperson Dr Harsh Vardhan during the 149th session of the WHO Executive board.
“Dr. Amoth, who took over the position 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,” read a statement from the organization.
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.
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.
The Board elects its Chairman from among its members and its functions are; to give effect to the decisions & policies of the World Health Assembly; to act as the executive organ of the World Health Assembly and to perform any other functions entrusted to it by the WHA;
Dr Amoth accepted the new role saying it’s a big honour not just for himself but for Kenya.
“This appointment is not an honor 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.
In May last year, Dr Amoth was elected to serve as the Vice President of the Executive Board of WHO.
Amoth was elected alongside four other Vice Presidents during a virtual meeting to represent the Africa region for a period of two years.
He is 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.