Vardhan set to take charge as WHO Executive Board chairman

Vardhan set to take charge as WHO Executive Board chairman

New Delhi: Indian Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who is leading the country’s fight against the deadly Covid-19, is set to take charge as the chairman of the WHO (World Health Organisation) Executive Board on May 22.

Vardhan would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, the incumbent Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board. The Board is entrusted with giving effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise and facilitate its work.

“India has taken all necessary steps well in time to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, the country has done well in dealing with the health crisis and it is confident of doing better in the months to come,” Vardhan said, while addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing the other day.

The proposal to appoint India's nominee to the executive board was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

The WHO’s South-East Asia group had last year unanimously decided to elect India to the executive board for a term of three years from May. The chairman's post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups and it was decided last year that India's nominee would be the Executive Board chairman for the first year starting Friday.

The Executive Board comprises of 34 officials, all experts in the field of health and designated by member states. The Board meets at least twice a year, the main one usually in January and then in May.

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