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EDITIONS
Monday, 26 January, 1998, 14:20 GMT
WHO Director General - the candidates
WHO building
Whoever takes over will be expected to restore the image of the WHO
The World Health Organisation has published a shortlist of candidates for the post of Director General. On Tuesday the WHO's executive board will elect the successor to the current Director General, Dr Hiroshi Nakajima, who is stepping down after a decade in charge of the organisation.

There are five candidates for the post and in an unusual development, two come from outside the organisation.

Of those, perhaps the best known is the former Norwegian Prime Minister, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, 58. A well established figure on the international political scene, she recently chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development.

Another outsider is Dr Nafis Sadik, 68, from Pakistan. She has been the executive director of the United Nations' Population Fund since 1987 and has made a name for herself as a strong advocate of human rights.

Meanwhile from within the WHO comes Sir George Alleyne, 65, who since 1994 has been the director of the WHO's American Region. West Indian in origin, he spent 16 years working for the Pan American Health Organisation in Washington DC.

Dr Ebrahim Malick Samba, 66, was born in the Gambia and heads the WHO's Africa regional office. He is said to have won wide acclaim for the successful programme to fight Onchocerciasis or River Blindness, an illness caused by a parasite. He is also reported to have begun to tackle bureaucracy and petty corruption that has dogged many UN offices.

The final candidate is Dr Uton Muchtar Rafei, 62, who leads the WHO's South East Asian Regional Office. He is another long-established WHO figure and is said to have wide support from Japan and many other Asian countries.

Two other candidates have dropped out of the race.

One is Dr Arif Batayneh, the Jordanian Minister of Health. The other is Dr Fernando Antenzana, 63. He comes from Bolivia and was only last year appointed the WHO's Deputy Director General.

He was the subject of a controversial letter from the Uruguayan Mission in Geneva to their Japanese counterparts at the time of Dr Nakajima's re-election bid. According to newspaper reports, the Uruguayans pledged their support to Dr Nakajima on the understanding that Dr Antezana would be promoted to deputy director general.

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