25 January 2000
WHO APPOINTS NEW REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAND RE-APPOINTS REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA
The World Health Organization's Executive Board appointed today in Geneva Dr Marc Danzon of France, as Regional Director of the World Health Organization for Europe. The Board also re-appointed Dr Ebrahim M. Samba, of the Gambia, as Regional Director of the World Health Organization for Africa.
Dr Danzon was nominated by the Regional Committee for Europe in a private meeting held in Florence on 14 September 1999. Now that his nomination has been confirmed by the Executive Board, he is expected to take up his new post in February 2000 and serve for five years. He will take over from Dr Jo Asvall of Norway, who held the post for fifteen years.
"I am committed to WHO's ideals and look forward to working together with people throughout the Region and beyond in making access for all a reality in the new millennium", said Dr Danzon.
Dr Danzon, born in Toulouse, France, in 1947, has 25 years of experience in public health at national and international levels. He is a medical doctor who has specialized in public health, psychiatry and health management and economics. He has considerable experience working for WHO in the past. Dr Danzon was in charge of communication and public information at the European Regional Office from 1985 to 1989. At the time, he was responsible for the first European Conference on Tobacco Policies held in Madrid in 1988. In 1992, he returned to the Regional Office as Director of the newly established Department for Country Health Development. He was also Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Department. Before standing for the post of the WHO Regional Director for Europe last year, he was Director of the National Federation of Mutual Insurance Societies, a non-profit health insurance organization covering 35 million people and managing 1 500 health and social establishments in France.
Dr Danzon is married and has two children.
Dr Ebrahim Samba was first appointed WHO Regional Director for Africa in 1995. Today, the Board decided to re-appoint him for another five-year term of office.
Born in 1932 in Serekunda, The Gambia, Dr Samba is a graduate of the University of Ghana and the National University of Ireland. His post-graduate education included double Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1963 and, later, Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians also in Edinburgh, Scotland. He returned to the Gambia in 1964 and by 1978 became the country's Director of Medical Services.
For 15 years Dr Samba was involved on a regular basis in the work of WHO attending World Health Assemblies and various other commissions, but it was in 1980 that he was selected to the position of Director of the WHO Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) in West Africa. He served as Director OCP for 14 years.
Dr Samba published numerous articles in the international scientific press.
He is married and has three children.
For further information, please contact Mr Valery Abramov, Office of the Spokesperson, WHO, Geneva. Telephone (+41 22) 791 25 43. Fax (+41 22) 791 4858. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
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