The 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee of South-East Asia began here early this week. Health ministers and experts from member countries are participating in the week-long conference, inaugurated by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Among other issues, the meeting is deliberating upon cervical cancer, strengthening of emergency preparedness capacities, eliminating measles and tackling tuberculosis.
Calling out for a ‘mission mode approach’ for creating public health success stories, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “I look forward to a strong and continued collaboration with all the member states as we move forward towards attaining sustainable development goals through universal health coverage.”
Exhorting the gathering to identify emerging challenges and seek new opportunities, WHO Regional Director for South-East AsiaDr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said,” It is time to take stock, review progress, discuss and update policies and technical strategies.
We need to look beyond our day-to-day concerns.” Following concerted efforts, the South-east Asia managed to eradicate polio in 2014 while two years later, in 2016, it became the second WHO region to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. But many a challenges remain.