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WHO Picks New Africa Chief Amid Ebola Crisis

Virgile Ahissou | The Big Story   in 
November 5, 2014

COTONOU, Benin (AP) — With nearly 5,000 dead of Ebola in West Africa, the World Health Organization elected a new director Wednesday of its Africa office, which has been accused of bungling the response to the outbreak in its early stages.

The new chief, Matshidiso Moeti, is a doctor from Botswana and a WHO veteran who stepped down as deputy director for Africa in March, the same month the crisis was announced.

The results of the five-candidate election were made public at a meeting of the U.N. agency in Benin and came amid the worst outbreak of the dreaded disease ever seen.

“I hope, with all the control efforts that are now in place, the situation will have improved by the time I take office in February,” Moeti told reporters.

Moeti is unlikely to play a major role in ending the disaster, since the United Nations has already taken more direct charge of the control efforts. But she could be key to preventing another such crisis.


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