A British medical doctor who taught medicine in Ethiopia for four years says Dr. Tedros Adhanom is the wrong candidate for the top position of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Explaining his reasons, Dr. Frank Ashall told ESAT on Friday that Dr. Adhanom, as one of a handful of people making decisions in Ethiopia, has failed to speak against millions of dollars of tobacco deals made with transnational companies. Dr. Ashall said that Dr. Adhanom had let under his watch the sale and purchase of tobacco by minors violating the country’s law and also the public advertisement of tobacco products against international accords.

Dr. Ashall, who taught biochemistry at the medical school of the Addis Ababa University, till he was asked to resign due to his critical views, said the Ethiopian regime, in which Adhanom was at the helm, has sold 40% of shares in government-owned tobacco monopoly, National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE), for a $510 million to Japan Tobacco International (JTI), one of the world’s wealthiest transnational tobacco companies. Dr. Ashall said Dr. Adhanom, who claims to be a passionate health advocate, has not voiced any concern on the deal.

Dr. Ashall went on to say that the Ethiopian regime has deliberately avoid to declare the diarrhea epidemic plaguing the eastern part of the country as “cholera epidemic.” “I know nurses who were told to document cases of patients with cholera as Acute Watery Diarrhea.”

The British doctor and biochemist says the use of Health Extension Workers (HEW) to indoctrinate villagers with ruling party programs and to spy on villagers who speak against the regime has been one of the works of Dr. Adhanom as a health minister. “But Dr. Adhanom is selling this as one of his achievements,” Ashall says.

Dr. Ashall has been asked to resign following his strong criticism of the killings and mass detention of anti-government protesters. “They cut my internet connection and I was removed from committees in the medical faculty. I was finally asked to resign,” he said.

Dr. Ashall says Dr. Adhanom is part of a regime that kills, tortures and imprisons peaceful protesters and hence unqualified to lead the WHO.

Dr. Ashall was in Ethiopia from December 2012 till January 2017.

 

 

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