Dr. Margaret Chan, a noted Bird flu expert was chosen Wednesday to head World Health Organizational, making her the first Chinese national chosen for world’s top health post.

China nominated Chan in their bid to play bigger role in the global affairs.

The executive board of the World Health Organization picked Chan to be the forthcoming director-general of WHO over four other candidates for the post left vacant due to the death last May of Lee Jong-wook.

Chan needs two-thirds majority vote Thursday at a special session of the agency’s governing World Health Assembly, comprised of all 193 member countries. In the past, votes always favored the one recommended by the executive board.

Chan, who worked as Hong Kong’s health director that fought the dangerous SARS outbreak in 2003, is currently the WHO’s influenza pandemic chief, a post she held since in 2005.

Being WHO’s assistant director-general, her greatest achievement was spearheading WHO’s fight to curb the spread of communicable diseases and prepare to fight a pandemic if the bird flu virus transforms into a strain easily transmitted among humans.


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