Context: The contest between Bangladesh and Nepal for the regional head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has become increasingly heated and contentious.
WHO’s South East Asian Regional Office
- One of the six WHO Regions, WHO South-East Asia is home to over a quarter of the world’s population.
- It was established in 1948 with headquarters at New Delhi.
- The Region is now composed of 11 Member Countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste.
- Measles and rubella elimination;
- preventing non-communicable diseases;
- reducing maternal, under-five and neonatal mortality;
- universal health coverage with a focus on human resources for health and essential medicines;
- combating antimicrobial resistance;
- scaling up capacities for emergency risk management;
- eliminating neglected tropical diseases;
- accelerating efforts to end TB.
Regional Committee for South-East Asia
- It is WHO’s governing body in the Region.
- It is comprised of representatives from the Region’s 11 Member States, as well as Associate Members.
- The Regional Committee meets every year to formulate policies and provide oversight for regional programmes.
The process of election for the regional director
- The Regional Director is appointed by WHO’s Executive Board in agreement with the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.
- The appointment of a Regional Director is for 5 years, and he or she is eligible for reappointment once only.
- Any Member State of the Region may propose one or more people for the post of Regional Director.
- The Regional Director is elected by secret ballot at a private meeting of the Regional Committee.