MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO), in a statement released on Wednesday, March 8, said it had fired its regional director for the Western Pacific based on an investigation it had done following allegations of misconduct in 2021 and 2022.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Dr. Takeshi Kasai’s appointment to the position had been “terminated” after the investigation “resulted in findings of misconduct.”
Kasai was not explicitly named in the statement, but rather referred to by his former title.
An earlier report noted WHO placed Kasai on leave in August 2022 following accusations of bullying, as well as of sharing confidential vaccine data with Japan. Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab served as Officer-in-Charge of the Western Pacific Region since Kasai was placed on leave.
An election cycle for a new regional director position will begin in April, when Ghebreyesus will invite member states in the region to submit proposed candidates, and an election will be held during a closed meeting of the regional committee in October 2023, where the nomination will go to the executive board for approval.
Until a new regional director is found, Jakab will serve as acting regional director. – Rappler.com
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