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Director-General announces structural changes

The WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, today announced a number of changes to the structure of the Organization.

In a message to staff, Dr Chan said the changes would "bring a closer alignment around our work on health security and the environment, endemic communicable diseases, research and UN reform."

Changes, which will take effect from November 1, include:

The Communicable Diseases cluster is renamed Health Security and Environment and will include the department of Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response with the addition of the Cholera team and the team on Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies, the department of Protection of the Human Environment and the department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases. These changes reflect the expanded scope of the International Health Regulations (2005), which include emergencies caused by chemicals and other environmental hazards, and outbreaks of foodborne disease. Dr David Heymann will continue to lead this cluster and to serve as Representative of the Director-General for Polio Eradication.

The HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria cluster is renamed HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases cluster and will include the department for Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. Dr Hiroki Nakatani will continue to lead this cluster.

The Information, Evidence and Research cluster now includes the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). It will also include a new department on Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights, created by merging two existing departments. Dr Tim Evans will continue to lead this cluster.

The cluster of Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments no longer exists. Its component departments have been moved to other clusters to bring closer alignment. Ms Susanne Weber-Mosdorf continues as an Assistant Director-General, with responsibility for European Union Affairs.

Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health cluster: Dr Catherine Le Galès-Camus is returning to her home country, France. Mr Denis Aitken will serve as Assistant Director-General ad interim for this cluster.

Office of the Director-General: Mr Liu Peilong, Adviser to the Director-General, is retiring and will return to China. Mr Fu Cong, from China, is appointed as Adviser to the Director-General. He is currently Minister Counsellor at the Chinese Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

For further information, please contact:

Iain Simpson
Department of Communications
World Health Organization, Geneva
Telephone: +41 22 791 3215
Mobile: +41 79 475 5534