Britain has expressed its disgust at the appointment of President Robert Mugabe as the World Health Organisation’s goodwill ambassador.
Mugabe was appointed goodwill ambassador at the just ended WHO conference on non-communicable diseases in Uruguay this week.
WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Mugabe could use his role to influence his peers in the region because Zimbabwe placed universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide healthcare to all.
A British government spokesman told Reuters that: “President Mugabe’s appointment is surprising and disappointing, particularly in light of the current US and EU sanctions against him.
“We have registered our concerns with WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Although Mugabe will not have an executive role, his appointment risks overshadowing the work undertaken globally by the WHO on non-communicable diseases.”