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Saima Wazed to become WHO regional Director for South East Asia

Published: 2nd Nov, 2023

Saima Wazed to become WHO regional Director for South East Asia


Recently, Bangladesh's Saima Wazed, daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, beat Nepal's Shambhu Prasad Acharya to be nominated as the next World Health Organization (WHO’s) Regional Director for South-East Asia.

About the information:

  • The election was held at the 76th session of the Regional Committee for SEARO in New Delhi.

Regional Committee for South-East Asia (SEARO): seventy-sixth sessions:

The Seventy-sixth session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia will be held in New Delhi, India, from 30 October to 2 November 2023.

  • The SEARO is one of the six regions of WHO with its headquarters in New Delhi.
  • She got 8 votes out of 10, while the Nepal got 2 in its favour.
  • India voted in favour of Bangladesh’s candidature namely, Saima Wazed.
  • Saima Wazed is going to hold the office of Regional Director for a five-year term and will be eligible for reappointment once.
  • Role and Responsibility: Wazed will be responsible for steering public health responses in the region, which is home to a quarter of the global population and has 30 per cent of the global disease burden.

Regional Division of WHO:

  • WHO Member States are grouped into six regions. Each region has a regional office which includes;
    • Africa
    • South America
    • South east Asia
    • Europe
    • Eastern Mediterranean
    • Western Pacific

WHO and South East Asia Region:

  • South-East Asian Region comprised 11 countries but is home to more than a quarter of the world’s population and a significant burden of disease.
  • Countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
  • Member countries will advance commitment to continuing efforts to achieve universal health coverage, with a focus on strengthening human resources for health and expanding the availability of essential medicines.
  • Continuing effort to strengthen the health workforce has led to a 30.6% increase in the availability of doctors, nurses and midwives in the WHO South-East Asia Region since 2014.

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