70th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South East Asia in the Maldives

WCO Maldives

6th September 2017 – The need to make health for all is a top priority in WHO South-East Asia Region as health ministers, leaders and officials commenced the Seventieth Regional Committee for the WHO South East Asia, proudly hosted by the Maldives. The Regional Committee which continues on for five days is the governing body meeting hosted by one of the eleven Member States of the WHO South East Asia each year.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by Health Ministers and Representatives together with local health and parliament delegations. The ceremony was officially inaugurated by the special envoy of His Excellency President Abdulla Yaameen Abdul Gayyoom, Dr Mohamed Shainee. Additionally, the invitees for the event were addressed by Director General of WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Regional Director for WHO South East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh and Honorable Minister of Health Mr Ibrahim Nazim.

“The region you represent accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s population. Almost 2 billion people look to you for their health. This is an enormous challenge, and at the same time, a wonderful opportunity.” said Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus Director General during his opening remarks “there is nothing more important than strengthening and investing in the health systems of your country."

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh expressed that the challenges we all face are real and complex. She emphasizedher commitment to achieve the goal of universal health coverage. “Every single country is making headway and we have powerful means to measure progress.”

After the Inauguration, all eleven Ministers and envoys took part in a tree planting at the venue as a symbolic mark of all countries commitment towards Climate Change. In addition, WHO’s Director General, Regional Director and the Health Minister of Maldives inaugurated the E-Photo Exhibition, which showcases the work of all eleven member states, another ‘green initiative.’

“Maldives is small, but we are also a huge global advocate for Climate Change " - Quoted the Honorable Minister of Health Mr Abdulla Nazim, as Maldives sets the stage for the landmark Male Declaration.