India To Hold Key Chair In WHO

Priyanka Tanwer
Priyanka Tanwer May 25 2022 - 3 min read
India To Hold Key Chair In WHO
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has been appointed as new chairperson of Committee B at the ongoing 75th World Health Assembly.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has been appointed as new chairperson of Committee B at the ongoing 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) which primarily discusses administrative and financial matters of World Health organisation(WHO), Union Health Ministry said.

According to the ministry, Committee B will discuss and prepare report on many important issues which include health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory along with east Jerusalem and in the occupied Syrian Golan this year.

It will also discuss number of issues including prevention of sexual exploitation, WHO reforms, global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property.

Convened by 194 member states, the annual WHO assembly which started on May 22 to conclude on May 28 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Each year, the World Health Assembly reviews a long and complex list of health challenges and responses. The World Health Assembly functions through two types committee -- Committee A and Committee B.

The WHO has listed critical issues to discuss during 75th WHA including Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Amendment in International Health Regulations 2005, WHO work in health emergency, Global Strategy for HIV, TB, Viral hepatitis and eradication of polio, immunisation agenda-2030, infection prevention and control and Human resources for health.

WHO Reforms

Weeks earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for building a more ‘resilient global health security architecture’ during the second US-hosted global virtual summit on Covid-19.

Addressing the summit, He said, “We must build a resilient global supply chain and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines. WTO rules need to be more flexible. WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build more resilient global health security architecture.” 

He called for streamlining approval process of WHO for vaccines and therapeutics to keep supply chain stable and predictable.

“As a responsible member of the global community, India is a ready to play a key role in these efforts,” PM had said during the summit.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

The WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so that everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health. 

It leads global efforts to expand universal health coverage. It directs and coordinates the world’s response to health emergencies and promotes healthier lives – from pregnancy care through old age.

Director General Of WHO

On May 24, WHO member states have re-elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve a second five-year term as Director-General of the world’s leading public health agency.

Tedros was first elected in 2017.

His re-election was confirmed during the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. He was the sole candidate.

“I am humbled by the opportunity provided by Member States to serve a second term as WHO Director-General,” said Tedros.

“This honour, though, comes with great responsibility and I am committed to working with all countries, my colleagues around the world, and our valued partners, to ensure WHO delivers on its mission to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable,” he added.

According to WHO, Tedros’s new mandate officially commences on August 16, 2022. A Director-General can be re-appointed once, in accordance with World Health Assembly rules and procedures.

Before first being appointed WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012.

He had also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chairman of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board; and as co-chairman of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

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