Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization

"As we know from long experience, throwing money at a problem is not the answer. Accountability requires counting: counting the resources actually delivered and measuring the impact on health outcomes, but also counting births, deaths, illnesses, causes, and weaknesses in health systems that contribute to these causes.

Resources come with an expectation of results. I look forward to working with the Commission to propose expedient ways to improve the tracking of financial and other commitments from partners, the measurement of results, and the capacity of developing countries to collect and analyse basic health data."

Dr Margaret Chan, from the People's Republic of China, obtained her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She joined the Hong Kong Department of Health in 1978, where her career in public health began.

In 1994, Dr Chan was appointed Director of Health of Hong Kong. In her nine-year tenure as director, she launched new services to prevent the spread of disease and promote better health. She also introduced new initiatives to improve communicable disease surveillance and response, enhance training for public health professionals, and establish better local and international collaboration. She effectively managed outbreaks of avian influenza and of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

In 2003, Dr Chan joined WHO as Director of the Department for Protection of the Human Environment. In June 2005, she was appointed Director, Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Response as well as Representative of the Director-General for Pandemic Influenza. In September 2005, she was named Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases.

Dr Chan was appointed to the post of Director-General on 9 November 2006. Her term will run through June 2012.

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