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The World in Medicine
June 21, 2006

WHO Leader Dies

JAMA. 2006;295(23):2711. doi:10.1001/jama.295.23.2711-b

The world health community mourned Lee Jong-Wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), who died at age 61 years after emergency surgery on May 22 to treat a blood clot in his brain. Lee's death occurred hours before he was to address representatives of the 192-member countries at the agency's annual meeting, the World Health Assembly.

Lee, a native of the Republic of Korea, worked at the WHO for 23 years and headed the agency's Stop TB Partnership from December 2000 until he was appointed to lead the WHO as its Director-General, in 2003. As Director-General, he had been spearheading the global response to avian influenza, HIV, tuberculosis, polio, and other infectious disease threats.

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