The Male’ Declaration: The Commitment of Eleven

Earlier today at the Seventieth Regional Committee Meeting of WHO South East Asia held in Maldives, Ministers and envoys for each of the eleven Member States signed the Male’ declaration on building health systems resilience to Climate Change.

“Climate change is happening, and is a risk to public health. Whether from greater severity and intensity of extreme weather events, changes in the spread and abundance of disease-carrying vectors such as mosquitoes, or changes to the physical environment that cause displacement or threaten livelihoods, climate change is already having an impact across our Region. Today’s Declaration demonstrates the commitment of the South-East Asia Region’s Member countries to take effective and immediate action,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, said.

The Regional Director emphasized WHO’s support to Member countries as they implement the Malé Declaration, and committed to mobilizing resources, promoting knowledge and experience-sharing mechanisms, and providing technical support to Member countries at the same time as building local capacity. She affirmed WHO’s commitment to presenting a progress report at the Seventy-fifth session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in 2022.

Maldives receives Public Health Achievement Award for Measles Elimination

During the same side event, Public Health Achievements in the Region were recognized by WHO. The awards were handed over by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Regional Director for WHO South East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh for the Elimination of Measles in Maldives and Bhutan, and Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis by Thailand. The two also joined Health Minister of the Maldives Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim to unveil the Measles Elimination book by WHO in the Maldives, titled “A Killer Nailed.”

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, acknowledged and praised these achievements by stating that high-income countries in Europe and elsewhere struggling with Measles can learn from the success of Maldives and Bhutan in “Nailing” this killer disease.

This achievement is the culmination of the steadfast political commitment of the Government of the Maldives, a robust Expanded Program on Immunization offering vaccines against ten diseases, quality surveillance program, continued and quality technical support from WHO and partners and the unflagging determination of frontline health workers.

The people especially children of the Maldives can now live without fear of highly infectious measles and its complications.