WHO Southeast Asia completes sixty years

April 9th, 2008 - 5:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office for Southeast Asia here has completed sixty years, and authorities said they will renew their efforts to lessen the disease burden of the region. “The Southeast Asian Region of the WHO has the distinction of being the first region of being established in 1948, soon after the inception of the world body,” said Samlee Plianbangchang, regional director of WHO.

In 1946, the International Health Conference under the aegis of United Nations in New York approved the constitution of the World Health Organisation.

“The global health scenario within which WHO plays its coordinating and stewardship roles has seen some dramatic changes over the years,” he said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office for Southeast Asia, headquartered in New Delhi, provides health assistance to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Plianbangchang said it is important for WHO to play its catalytic role in policy formulation and in promoting and protecting health of the masses.

To do this effectively, WHO is adapting to the ever-changing global health scenario, he said.

“We have helped countries in improving health condition and efforts will continue to help them in a more constructive way,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, deputy director general of WHO, Southeast Asia.

She said with 25 percent of the global population, Southeast Asia region holds key to global health situation.

During the last six decades, India eliminated diseases like Yaws and leprosy. Bhutan declared itself free of the iodine deficiency disorders. The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak was confirmed and later controlled in the region in 2003.

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