Country Office for Maldives

WHO Regional Director visits the Republic of Maldives

Male’, 5 March 2014: Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, commended the Government of Maldives and the Ministry of Health and Gender for their commitment and vision for universal health coverage for all its citizens. Dr Khetrapal Singh is on a two-day visit to Maldives.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh takes charge as Regional Director

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh takes charge as WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia Region from 1 February 2014. She was elected by the 11 Member States of the Region in September 2013 and subsequently appointed by the WHO Executive Board at its 134th session in January 2014. Dr Khetrapal Singh is an Indian national and the first woman to hold this post.
Committing to an excellence-pursuing, responsive and accountable WHO in the Region, Dr Khetrapal Singh said, “It is a great honour to be appointed Regional Director at an important moment in the history of public health and at a time when WHO is undergoing reform.”

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. It is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and supported by IDF member associations, national and local authorities, NGOs, international organizations and private sector. The main goal of annual campaigns is to raise awareness about diabetes and to engage millions of people around the world into diabetes related advocacy activities.

Today, 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030. In South-East Asia (SEA) more than 70.3 million people have diabetes; by 2030 this will rise to 120.9 million. Diabetes caused 1.1 million deaths in the SEA Region this year.

The Delegation of the Republic of Maldives participated in the 31st Meeting of Health Ministers of the WHO SEAR and the 66th Session of the Regional Committee

On 10 September 2013 India hosted the 31st Meeting of Ministers of Health of the WHO South-East Asia Region. Health Ministers from 11 Member States reviewed progress on decisions and recommendations from previous meetings of Ministers of Health and adopted the “New Delhi Declaration on High Blood Pressure”. The Health Ministers committed to according high priority to the prevention and control of high blood pressure and to strive towards measurable reduction in the prevalence of hypertension in the Region by 2025.