India gets WHO top post after 44 years
By Express News Service | Published: 13th September 2013 09:23 AM |
After a gap of 44 years, India on Thursday regained the post of the Regional Director of World Health Organisation’s South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO) with its nominee Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, a former IAS officer, being elected by the member countries.
She will hold the top post for five years.
India had occupied the post from 1948 to 1968. Since 1968, India has not occupied the SEARO top post.
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the election of the Regional Director was an opportunity to strengthen India’s commitment to perform its role in health and development with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a key partner.
He said that Dr Poonam Singh is an acknowledged public health specialist and administrator with vast experience and has recognition in public health and the UN system.
She is able to contribute to regional as well as global initiatives and further strengthen cooperation among SEARO members states, he added.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh had worked in the WHO as Executive Director of Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments and Member of the Cabinet of the Director-General in Geneva.
She has been Executive Director, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, in WHO at Geneva from 1998 to 2000 and Deputy Regional Director, WHO, SEARO, from 2000 to 2013.