After 5 years of serving as regional director for Southeast Asia, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh is employed once again for a second term. The WHO Executive Board on Saturday unanimously endorsed Poonam Singh, who was earlier unanimously nominated by 11 member-countries of the region for another five years.
Congratulating her, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The first woman to become Regional Director of WHO Southeast Asia Region, you have provided dynamic leadership in a Region that accounts for a quarter of the world’s population but a disproportionate burden of diseases. Under your leadership, the Region has made remarkable progress.”
In her first term, Poonam Singh focused on building an increasingly responsive and accountable WHO in the region, and was marked by numerous initiatives and public health achievements.
This came while prioritising persisting and emerging epidemiological and demographic challenges, such as: promoting universal health coverage, strengthening emergency risk management and articulating a strong regional voice in the global health agenda.
After being reappointed, Poonam Singh stated in her acceptance speech, “It is a privilege to once again be appointed as Regional Director of WHO Southeast Asia Region. The confidence you have reposed in me is humbling.”
Outlining her vision for the second term that begins on February 1, Poonam Singh stated the plan of approach to ensure health and well-being of the 1.8 billion people across the region would be sustaining the gains, accelerating progress to finish the unfinished agenda and innovating.
Detailing her vision for her next term in her acceptance speech at the Executive Board, Poonam Singh said, “We must sustain the gains we made. It means ensuring we hold fast to our progress in diseases elimination, which history shows can return with a vengeance if attention falters, and ensuring that there is no room for complacency. We must accelerate sustainable progress.”
Source: biospectrumindia.com, thehindubusinessline.com