In 2017, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus became the first African director-general of the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
As Minister of Health in Ethiopia from 2005–2012, he completed a comprehensive reform of the country's healthcare system. During that period, the infant mortality rate decreased by 30 per cent, and the deaths caused by malaria halved. Through a combination of information and treatment, the spread of HIV, and AIDS mortality have dramatically reduced in Ethiopia, which was formerly the most afflicted country in Africa.
Already during his doctoral education, he came in contact with Umeå University in 1997 when he studied epidemiological methods for field studies. He has kept in touch in his new positions.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will be promoted as honorary doctor of medicine at the Annual Celebration Ceremony on 20 October at 17:00 in Aula Nordica.