Dr. Margaret Chan


Dr. Margaret Chun took office as a word Health Organization (WHO) director General in January 2007 following her appointment as a special session of the WHO. Earlier on in her career she had been working as an assistant director general in the department of the communicable diseases and as a representative of the pandemic influenza director – general. Accepting the new top position, Dr. Chan summarized her vision for the organization and highlighted six issues that were to be key focus during her term. They included; security, performance, health development, information and knowledge, capacity and partnership. Relevance to her new position, Dr. Chan has vast understanding and international experience of the communicable infections, chronic diseases, and health regulation among others.

Why Dr. Margaret Chan?

Dr. Margaret Chan’s profile has been elevated by her handling of various critical conditions in her previous positions in the world health organization before becoming the overall director general. In the year 1997, there was the incidence of the avian influenza which caused devastation in the worlds and especially in the Asian nations (Shuchman 2007). The outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong, ion these two incidences, she acted out smartly ordering the slaughter of more that one and half million chicken. Basically at least 299 died following the incidence; this was unavoidable since the disaster just came of from nowhere.

Dr. Chan has been credit for her contribution to the health of the world and especially the two incidences of 1997 and 2003 outbreaks. These incidences actually put her at a distinct poison that the rest of public health scientists. Her pragmatism is a great weapon for the WHO (Snacken et al 1997). The WHO director general herself has confessed that the two incidences had she now understands that management of high pressure crisis was very delicate since if affected a larger number of people and also risk and health hazard to life (Shuchman 2007). As

Dr. Margaret Chan

a matter of fact, the rules established by the WHO in 2005 in Geneva conceivably the most powerful woman leader in the interventional sector of public health.

Dr. Chan: a Very Important Female Leader

Becoming a leader in an organization that is already set and well established is very challenging. In most cases the organization has very strictly rules and guidelines. Most organizations have goals and objectives that are integrated in terms of divisions, positions, sections, tasks and work structure (Shuchman 2007). In the WHO the work of the management is very difficult and challenging compared to other organizations. Leadership is faced with challenges that are very difficult to implement considering that government policies are in operational, peoples lives could at risk, resources are a problem and non corporation from the people. Its very hard to imagine all these stresses and authority packed in a woman that she can actually not just request or beg for information from the governments but command to be given information that threaten human health. This is very important to the women because when it’s said that Dr. Chan now leads the interaction response to manage that pandemics all over the world, Communicable Disease Newsletter (2009).

Many traditions and religions would want to keep the woman at home so that she can only bear children and take care of the home. Women get relegated when issues of leadership in the local communities let alone an international organization. The older tradition of terming the women as a weaker sex in this case has been surpassed with time especially in this world of civilization, Communicable Disease Newsletter (2009).

Dr. Chan is a living example to the woman that regardless of the hardships and resistance people, face them they still can achieve. Currently. In spite of ethnicity gender, and nationality, woman are increasingly getting into technical and professional training. The selection of Dr. M. Chan the WHO director has been sustained and given great ovation from people of all races and international community (Shuchman 2007).

Dr. Margaret Chan

Women all over the world view hers as another big thing after the discovery of antiretroviral drugs. The African women who have been suffering in terms of HIV/AIDS pandemics, TB, cancer higher mortality rates in children injustice resulting from spiritual beliefs or traditional norms. With Dr. Chan in power, this is bound to change. To su, up. Dr. Chan is perceived as a mother to the world, to offer serenity, and bring up a healthy world, Communicable Disease Newsletter (2009).

Her Leadership Style

Pragmatism is one Dr. Chan’s leadership style that has been very critical in handling of certain cases that have arisen in her career. It can be remembered that during the outbreak of influenza in Hong Kong, she actually ordered for slaughter of over 1.4 million chickens despite chicken being staple food. She is also optimistic, in her acceptance speech as a Who director she set up six components that wee to be tackled during her term. This is in fact zero days before she goes to office but she starts getting things run. She is logical, Considerate and enthusiastic as well (Shuchman 2007)


With her career expertise, vast understanding of the diseases, and world health, its believed that she will be a great personality to find solutions to problems very fast and worked in collaboration with all other players who are concerned with giving proper healthy to the world. It’s with great hope that many nations bless her as a mother to be able to bring about the changes required inn the world and she will personally have an impact to all suffering people.

Dr. Margaret Chan

Dr. Margaret Chan


Communicable Disease Newsletter (2009). Dr. Margaret is the New Director-General of WHO. World Organizational Regional Office Vol.4. Issue 1

Shuchman M. (2007). Improving Health. Margaret Chan at the WHO. N Engl J Med

Snacken R. et al (1997). Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol. 5 No.2