Bangladesh to be nominated as WHO executive board member

Bangladesh will be nominated as a member of the WHO Executive Board at Geneva Headquarters for a 3-year period beginning from 2019.

The information was disclosed at the 71st Regional Committee Meeting of the Health Ministers of the World Health Organization (WHO) of the South-East Asia Region which ended today at the Tajmahal Hotel of New Delhi in India, said a press release here today.

Chaired by Health Minister of India Jagat Prakash Nadda, the meeting was also attended by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh.

A 4-member delegation headed by State Minister of Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque represented Bangladesh at the 5-day meeting that began on September 3 at the same hotel.

The other members of Bangladesh delegation comprised Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in New Delhi Rakebul Haque, Private Secretary to the State Minister Arifur Rahman Sheikh and Deputy Program Manager of the National Nutrition Program of DGHS Dr Mafizul Islam Bulbul.

The 5-day meeting took important decisions, among others, on elimination of malaria, and control of Dengue and other vector-borne diseases from the region, and reviewed the progress on health workforce, universal health coverage, measles elimination, birth and death registration, and promoting physical activity.

An important outcome of the meeting is adoption of Delhi Declaration for improving access to essential medicines in the Region and beyond.

As part of the meeting, a special award was given to Bangladesh for outstanding performances in the control of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.

Zahid Maleque held several bilateral meetings. He met with Health Minister of India Mr Jagat Prakash Nadda, with WHO-DG Dr Tedros and with WHO-Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh.

In his meeting with WHO-DG, he extended invitation to Dr Tedros to visit Bangladesh.

Zahid Maleque sought WHO’s assistance to make a sustainable solution of universal health coverage in the country to begin with protecting the population under extreme poverty so that the extremely poor get full healthcare support without the need to pay anything.

WHO’s immediate assistance is also needed for making the National Drug Control Laboratory with international experts, and for making the public hospitals more efficient and welcoming to the ordinary people.

The state minister also requested for more opportunities for Bangladeshi nationals to be employed in WHO positions.

Dr Tedros expressed his hope that he will plan to visit Bangladesh sometime in January 2019 and will visit the Rohingya camps during this visit.

Dr Tedros also promised that he would extend necessary support to make the National Drug Control Laboratory functional and the Bangladeshi public hospitals more people-centered and efficient.

He promised to explore opportunities for absorbing more Bangladeshi nationals in WHO positions. He advised to encourage Bangladeshi nationals to submit applications whenever such application is invited for WHO vacancies.

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