IN NEWS: Union Health Minister, Dr. Mandaviya, addresses the 76th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Southeast Asia.

  1. The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, addressed the 76th session of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for Southeast Asia in New Delhi recently.
  2. He was joined by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), who was present virtually. Dr. Mandaviya was also unanimously elected as chairperson of the 76th session of the regional committee of Southeast Asia.
  3. Addressing the gathering, Dr. Mandaviya lauded the progress of Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC), which have played an instrumental role in providing a comprehensive array of primary healthcare services.
  4. Mandaviya also addressed the gathering at the tree plantation ceremony taking place at the WHO SEARO Building site, IP Estate, New Delhi, stating, “The WHO SEARO building stands as a symbol of the collaborative effort of India and WHO to address the global challenges with the objective of ensuring inclusive and equitable development of healthcare services in the South-East region.
  5. The Union Health Minister noted India’s contribution fund of Rs. 239.5 crores to facilitate the successful completion of this grand project awarded to the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), which envisions a hub for collaboration, research, and knowledge exchange among health professionals for addressing regional health challenges, sharing best practices, and developing innovative solutions.
  6. Union Health Secretary Shri Sudhansh Pant highlighted that the establishment of the South-East Asia Regional Forum for Primary Health Care (PHC)-oriented Health Systems marked a pivotal moment in our commitment to fostering knowledge sharing and collaborative support in addressing challenges hindering PHC strengthening.
  7. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the gathering virtually. He noted that the 76th session of SEARO comes at a crucial time, both globally and for the region.
  8. He highlighted that the Southeast Asia region is home to more than a quarter of the world’s population and must address a significant burden of disease. Commending the efforts of the region to combat tuberculosis, Dr. Tedros appreciated Dr. Mandaviya’s leadership and commitment to ‘Health for All’. He added that seven of the 11 member countries of the Southeast Asia region have eliminated at least some of the neglected tropical diseases.

Regional Committee for Southeast Asia

  1. The Regional Committee for Southeast Asia is WHO’s governing body in the region.
  2. It is composed of representatives from the region’s 11 member states as well as associate members.
  3. The Regional Committee meets every year to formulate policies, provide oversight for regional programmes, hear progress reports, and consider, revise, and endorse new initiatives. It adopts resolutions and makes decisions that guide the work of the regional office and country offices for the coming year.

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