Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh begins second term as Regional Director

New Delhi, 1 February 2019 - Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh today began her second term as Regional Director WHO South-East Asia, after being unanimously endorsed by the 34-Member WHO Executive Board in Geneva on 26 January 2019.

Earlier, the 11-Member countries of the Region had unanimously nominated her for a second five- year term as Regional Director in September 2018. In her second term, the Regional Director is focusing on sustaining the gains made around the flagship priorities and other programmes in the Region, accelerating efforts and innovating, to meet the continuing and emerging public health challenges.

WHO/ P. Brown

South-East Asia Regional Technical Advisory Group (SEAR-TAG) met in New Delhi on 15-16 January 2019 to review efforts by Member States to accelerate reduction in newborn, child and maternal mortality in the Region.

Established in 2015 by the Regional Director, SEAR-TAG is focusing on reducing preventable maternal and perinatal mortality, including still births.

Sanjit Das

On 13 January this year WHO South-East Asia Region marks eight years since the last case of wild poliovirus.

The Region continues to be polio-free due to ongoing efforts by member countries, partners and the people themselves to ensure all children are protected with polio vaccines.

A strict vigil is being maintained against polioviruses.

Crisis Centre MOH Indonesia

On 22 December 2018 tsunami hit Indonesia along the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra island. Hundreds of people have been killed, injured and left homeless as giant waves caused widespread damage.

Pandeglang and Serang in Banten Province, and South Lampung and Tanggamus in Lampung Province are among the worst hit areas.

National and provincial authorities are carrying out search and rescue operations, and providing assistance to the affected people.

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Thailand becomes first in Asia to introduce tobacco plain packaging

World Health Organization commends Thailand on implementing stronger tobacco control measures by adopting plain packaging for tobacco products. It becomes the first country in Asia and the first low and middle-income country to take this firm step against tobacco use, the single most important cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

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About WHO South-East Asia

Home to a quarter of the world population, WHO SEARO provides leadership on health matters, articulates evidence-based policy options, provides technical support to countries and monitors health trends.

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Art Competition for World Health Day 2019



The Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

The Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (the APO) is a collaborative partnership of interested governments, international agencies, foundations, and researchers that promotes evidence-informed health systems policy regionally and in all countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Polio-free certification of the WHO South-East Asia Region

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