Dr Harsh Vardhan elected to WHO Executive Board Chair

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New Delhi: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, was elected to the chair of 34-member WHO Executive Board on Friday.

Dr Harsh Vardhan takes over from Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan. He will chair the 148th session of the Executive Board in January 2021. He will continue to be a member of the Executive Board till 2023.

Addressing the 147th WHO Executive Board session as its Chair Dr Harsh Vardhan said: “I feel deeply honored to have the trust and faith of all of you. India, and my countrymen, too, feel privileged that this honor has been bestowed upon us. I will work to realize the collective vision of our organization, to build the collective capacity of all our Member nations and to build a heroic collective leadership”.

The world health body is already spearheading the leadership of entire world in the domain of public health. It is engaged with partners for joint actions and shaping the research agenda on health matters.

Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking on the virtual session said health is pivotal to enhancing human capabilities. Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh said Dr Harsh Vardhan has assumed charge at a very crucial time and she hoped that he will successfully steer the world to resolve the health issues.

The Executive Board comprises of 34 members elected for three-year terms. The Chair of the Executive Board is elected by its members on being nominated by the Regional Committees of the six WHO Regions, by rotation.

The other countries from WHO South-East Asia Region in the Executive Board are Bangladesh (2019-2022) and Indonesia (2018-2021).

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