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Statement regarding Dr LEE Jong-wook

Director-General, World Health Organization


20 May 2006

Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization, is currently recovering from surgery at the Cantonal Hospital of Geneva.

Dr Lee suddenly fell ill this afternoon while he was attending an official function. He was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Examination by medical staff determined that he required surgery in order to remove a blood clot on his brain. The surgery was undertaken immediately. It was completed at approximately 18:15.

He will be in hospital for some time. As a result, he will not be able to attend the World Health Assembly which takes place from 22 to 27 May.

WHO requests that full respect be accorded for the privacy of Dr Lee and for his family.

WHO will regularly provide updates on the situation.

Background

Dr Lee, a national of the Republic of Korea, has been Director-General of the World Health Organization since 21 July, 2003. He has worked for WHO for 23 years, at country and regional levels, and at WHO Headquarters in Geneva.

He is 61 years old and has been in good health. He is married, and has one son.

For more information contact:

Christine McNab
Communications Officer
Director-General's office
Telephone: +41 79 254 6815
E-mail: mcnabc@who.int

Iain Simpson
Communications Officer
Director-General's office
Telephone: +41 79 475 5534
E-mail: simpsoni@who.int

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