Top officials leave the WHO

Four top World Health Organisation officials will leave their posts next week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced in a letter read by French news agency AFP on Tuesday.

Indian paediatrician and clinician Soumya Swaminathan is stepping down as WHO’s chief scientist, while Brazil’s Mariangela Simao is resigning as assistant director general for access to medicines. They were among the senior officials at the UN health agency who led the global effort to coordinate the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Former French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn, the Director-General's envoy for multilateral affairs, and former UK minister Jane Ellison, executive director for external affairs and governance, will also leave the organisation.

The departures were announced in a letter to colleagues from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as part of a reshuffle of his senior management team following his re-election for a second five-year term in May.

In his letter, the WHO Director-General expressed his "appreciation and respect to the members of his leadership team, whose term of office ends on 30 November."

No announcement has so far been made regarding the new appointments.

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