Dr Harsh Vardhan assumes charge as WHO Executive Board chairman

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Dr Harsh Vardhan assumes charge as WHO Executive Board chairman
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan succeeded Japan’s Dr Hiroki Nakatani as the chairman of the World Health Organization’s 34- member Executive Board. He was unanimously elected by WHO’s South-East Asia group for a three-year term, last year.

Battling against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the forefront, Dr Vardhan said, “I am aware I am entering this office at a time of global crisis on account of this pandemic. At a time, when we all understand that there will be many health challenges in the next 2 decades. All these challenges demand a shared response.”

“Today we have a mortality of 3 per cent only. In a country of 1.35 billion, there are only 0.1 million cases of COVID-19. The recovery rate is above 40 per cent and the doubling rate is 13 days,” the health minister added.

Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia congratulated Dr Harsh Vardhan and said, “Dr Vardhan has a rich experience in public health. He is the pioneer of India’s successful pulse polio programme and has been in the forefront in the fight against tobacco and many other issues. The world can now gain from his expertise and experience.”

Prominent personalities like the minister of textiles Smriti Zubin Irani, Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar, finance minister Nirmala Sitharamann, news anchor Deepak Chaurasia, etc. congratulated Dr Vardhan via Twitter.

 

 

“I feel deeply honoured to have the trust and faith of all of you. India and all my countrymen, too, feel privileged that this honour has been bestowed upon us,” Vardhan said after assuming the charge.

The primary functions of the Executive Board are :

  • To advice the Health Assembly.
  • To give effect to the policies and decisions of the Heath Assembly.
  • To facilitate the work of the Health Assembly.

The Executive Board meets twice a year in January and May after the Health Assembly. The members of the board are qualified health professionals designated by member-state elected to do so by the World Health Assembly.

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