On May 23, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Health and Foreign Affairs Minister in Ethiopia, was voted the new leader of the World Health Organization (WHO). His appointment comes at a tough time for the cash-strapped agency, which has received criticism for its slow response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In his new role, Tedros must be ready to fight a range of public-health problems.
The Ebola virus continues to surface in Central and West Africa, with a handful of deaths and suspected cases recently reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Health experts are also concerned about the H7N9 virus, a flu strain with pandemic potential.
The WHO made a commitment in 2016 to tackle superbugs--bacterial infections that no longer respond to the antibiotics used to treat them. It's estimated that the number of people who die from antibiotic-resistant infections could reach 10 million a year by 2050.
Rates of diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease are on the rise worldwide, and according to the WHO, chronic disease kills 40 million people each year--or about 70% of all deaths globally. The WHO is overseeing commitments from heads of state to reduce one-third of premature deaths from these diseases by 2030 through prevention and treatment.