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WHO: Forget About That Goodwill Ambassador

Director abandons controversial appointment of Robert Mugabe
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2017 7:33 AM CDT
WHO: Forget About That Goodwill Ambassador
In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe in Pretoria, South Africa. Mugabe has long faced US sanctions over human rights abuses, and the World Health Organization new director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus reversed his decision to make Mugabe a "goodwill ambassador."   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

(Newser) – Amid much uproar, the World Health Organization has re-examined its decision to name Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador and decided to dump the 93-year-old Zimbabwean leader. "I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, per the BBC. Tedros had praised Zimbabwe's public health record, which prompted an outcry among critics who say the country's public health system has dissipated during Mugabe's three decades in power, and that Mugabe himself travels abroad for medical care. Mugabe has outlived his nation's average life expectancy by 30 years, notes the BBC. Tedros says he remains "firmly committed to working with all countries and their leaders" in building public health care. (Read more Robert Mugabe stories.)

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