Senegalese Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck is considering running for the World Health Organization’s top post after the nation limited Ebola to a single patient.
President Macky Sall has discussed a bid for 2017 with supporters, Seck, 63, said in an interview in the capital, Dakar. She will decide next year about campaigning for director-general of the United Nation’s public health agency. Senegal was declared Ebola free in October.
“I have a lot of people talking to me about it,” Seck said Friday. “It is time for Africa to have its seat at the WHO.”
Senegal’s success against Ebola has boosted the profile of the medical doctor. As the government’s third-highest ranking official she led efforts to contain the disease last year. The governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where the outbreak began, have not been as successful. Ebola has no known cure or treatment.
The Geneva-based WHO and local governments have been too slow to combat Ebola, which has killed more than 10,000 people since December 2013, Seck said. The response was hampered by decades of limited funding for health services in the three countries where there are fewer than 500 doctors for about 21 million people.
Senegal moved quickly to isolate a 21-year-old Guinean student who brought the disease to the West African nation. Mali and Nigeria are the only other countries with confirmed cases in West Africa that are now Ebola free.
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