Saima Wazed takes charge as WHO's Southeast Asia regional director | World News - Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh PM's daughter Saima Wazed takes charge as WHO's Southeast Asia regional director

PTI |
Feb 02, 2024 04:13 AM IST

Sheikh Hasina's daughter Saima Wazed is the first from Bangladesh and the second woman to hold this office.

New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Saima Wazed, daughter of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on Thursday assumed charge as regional director of World Health Organization's Southeast Asia region.

Saima Wazed appointed as WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia(ANI)
Saima Wazed appointed as WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia(ANI)

Wazed is the first from Bangladesh and the second woman to hold this office.

She was nominated to lead the region by member countries of WHO Southeast Asia at the regional committee session on November 1, 2023 here and appointed by the WHO executive board on January 23 in Geneva.

Wazed will direct international health work in 11 countries with over 2 billion people.

Outlining her vision, Wazed said her goal is to strengthen members states and WHO to address health gaps in the context of current realities and challenges; enable member states to devise and implement innovative local solutions for equitable and resilient health system; and importantly, empower disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

At her acceptance speech at the executive board in Geneva, Wazed said her topmost priorities include a strong focus on mental health and well-being, a long-neglected area; promoting health equity including through devising and implementing specific interventions for women and children with a structured life-course approach; and harnessing technology for innovations across the different spheres of public health.

Promoting universal health coverage with a focus on strengthening health systems based on a primary health care approach; emergency response and pandemic preparedness to encourage countries have a whole-of-society and multi-level pandemic preparedness planning linked to health system strengthening; and fostering and enhancing collaboration and partnerships at the regional and multi-sectoral level to address all determinants of health are among her priorities.

Other priorities include monitoring and progress reporting to inform and improve strategies and improve decision-making with the focus on vulnerable population such as the indigenous peoples, refugees and migrant populations displaced by conflict, economic and environmental crisis.

Wazed is also prioritizing health sector resilience to climate and environmental change and a focused approach to the unique needs of the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in health infrastructure planning, to truly leave no one behind.

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