NEW DELHI : Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh has been appointed the South-East Asia regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a second five-year term.
On January 25, 2019, the WHO Executive Board unanimously endorsed Dr Singh, who was earlier unanimously nominated by 11 member-countries of the region for another five years.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "Dr Singh has provided dynamic leadership in a Region that accounts for a quarter of the world's population but a disproportionate burden of diseases. Under her leadership, the Region has made remarkable progress."
Dr Singh said, "It is a privilege to once again be appointed as Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region. The confidence the world body has reposed in me is humbling."
Outlining her vision for the second term that begins on February 1, Khetrapal Singh said sustaining the gains, accelerating progress to finish the unfinished agenda and innovating would be the approach to ensure health and well-being of the 1.8 billion people across the Region.
In her first term, Dr Singh focused on building an increasingly responsive and accountable WHO in the Region, while prioritising persisting and emerging epidemiological and demographic challenges; promoting universal health coverage, strengthening emergency risk management and articulating a strong regional voice in world health agenda.
Dr Singh identified eight flagship priority schemes, focusing on results and accountability, which are cascading into sustainable and result-oriented efforts.