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72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia

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    10th Sep, 2019

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the ‘72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia ‘in New Delhi which India is hosting for the second time.


Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the ‘72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia ‘in New Delhi which India is hosting for the second time.


  • Representatives from 11 member countries came together to deliberate on the priority health issues in the region. These include cervical cancer, strengthening of emergency preparedness capacities, eliminating measles and addressing the high burden of tuberculosis.
  • Deliberations are targeted to ensure that regional priorities are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and WHO’s global triple billion goals.  
  • The government is observing the entire month of September as “Poshan Maah” (Nutrition Month) to sensitize the public towards healthy eating, address the twin issues of malnutrition/under nutrition and problem of obesity in some sections of the population, and intensifying the campaign towards a ‘Malnutrition-Free India’.

About WHO:

  • The World Health Organization(WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
  • It was established on 7 April 1948, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The core function of WHO is to direct and coordinate international health work through collaboration.
  • The main areas of work are health systems; health through the life-course; noncommunicable and communicable diseases; preparedness, surveillance and response; and corporate services.
  • WHO partners with countries, the United Nations system, international organisations, civil society, foundations, academia, and research institutions.
  • The World Health Assembly is attended by delegations from all Member States, and determines the policies of the Organization.

WHO Regional Offices:

WHO Member States are grouped into following six regions. Each region has a regional office:

  • Regional Office for Africa.
  • Regional Office for the Americas.
  • Regional Office for South-East Asia.
  • Regional Office for Europe.
  • Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

Regional committees meet once every year to set policy and approve budgets and programmes of work for their regions. Each meeting addresses the specific public health needs of the area represented by the region

About World Health Organization in South-East Asia:

  • South-East Asia is home to a quarter of the world population; WHO SEARO provides leadership on health matters, articulates evidence-based policy options, provides technical support to countries and monitors health trends.
  • WHO South-East Asia Countries include:
    • Bangladesh
    • Bhutan
    • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Maldives
    • Myanmar
    • Nepal
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand
    • Timor-Leste

South-East Asia region turning as the world capital for disease elimination:

  • It is free of polio and maternal and neonatal tetanus.
  • Maldives and Sri Lanka are malaria-free.
  • Thailand and Maldives have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
  • Bhutan, Maldives, South Korea, Timor-Leste and Sri Lanka have eliminated measles.
  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have controlled rubella.
  • Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand have eliminated lymphatic filariasis.
  • India is yaws-free.
  • Nepal has eliminated trachoma.
  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand have controlled Hepatitis B.
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