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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

Context:

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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