World Health Organization

WHO places Asia director on leave after accusations of bullying

Reuters
WHO places Asia director on leave after accusations of bullying

TAKESHI KASAI. Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Adviser on Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response, speaks during Asia Europe Foundation Seminar on multi-sector pandemic preparedness in Kuala Lumpur on November 17, 2009.

Zainal Abd Halim/File Photo/Reuters

Sources say the decision to place Takeshi Kasai on administrative leave was related to an ongoing investigation into various staff complaints

GENEVA, Switzerland – A senior World Health Organization director has been placed on leave, a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday, August 30, following staff accusations of bullying and other complaints.

“The Regional Director for the Western Pacific Region, Dr Takeshi Kasai, is on leave,” a WHO official said in emailed comments, without giving details.

Two WHO sources confirmed to Reuters that the decision to place Kasai, a physician from Japan who has worked at the body for more than 15 years, on administrative leave was related to an ongoing investigation into various staff complaints.

The Associated Press reported in January that the complaints included allegations of racist language and of sharing confidential vaccine data with Japan.

He has previously acknowledged being “hard on staff” but rejected the other charges.

He is temporarily being replaced by the UN health agency’s number 2, Zsuzsanna Jakab, the official added. – Rappler.com

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