Henk Bekedam, the World Health Organization's (WHO) chief representative in China, is to leave his position next week after five years, the Wall Street Journal reported. He will be replaced by Hans Troedsson, currently the WHO's representative in Vietnam, in what has been described as a normal rotation of positions. A senior official with the Chinese Ministry of Health said the departure of Bekedam has been delayed following a personal request from the minister of health for the 49-year-old doctor to remain in the job. The official added that, despite some disagreements, Bekedam has worked well with the Chinese authorities and "contributed a lot." Bekedam's tenure has spanned the 2002-2003 SARS crisis – which Chinese officials initially tried to cover up – and the emergence of bird flu.