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Responding to health needs of vulnerable population

WHO Bangladesh

To address health needs of the nearly 400 000 vulnerable population who have crossed borders, WHO is providing governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar essential drugs and medical supplies, cholera kits, emergency medical kits and water purification tablets. WHO is coordinating with partners for measles, polio and routine vaccination of children; and is setting up disease surveillance in places where these vulnerable populations are staying.

Align national TB strategies with Delhi Call to Action

WHO/Nepal/David Orr

World Health Organization has called on countries in South-East Asia Region to build on recent momentum aimed at ending TB by 2030 by aligning national plans with the Delhi Call to Action. The Seventieth Regional Committee session of WHO South-East Asia Region adopted a resolution on accelerating efforts to end TB on the concluding day of the five-day meeting.

Take action on road safety; prevent road injury, death across South-East Asia Region: WHO

WHO/Indonesia/B Chandra

World Health Organization today urged health ministers from across the South-East Asia Region to intensify action to enhance road safety, including by strengthening post-crash response and working across sectors to increase the safety standard of roads and vehicles.

“Road traffic injuries constitute a major public health burden, with significant health and socioeconomic costs. Though the behavior of road users matters, good public policy has the potential to dramatically reduce the burden. To this end, the health sector has a critical role to play,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, said at the Seventieth Regional Committee in Maldives.

Take bold, co-operative action to make medicines available to all: WHO

WHO

World Health Organization today called on countries across the South-East Asia Region to take bold action to ensure all people everywhere have access to safe, efficacious, quality and affordable medical products, laying particular emphasis on the need to leverage collective strengths via greater intercountry cooperation.

“Overcoming barriers and ensuring all people everywhere can access essential medicines is one of WHO South-East Asia’s priority areas of work, and is vital to achieving universal health coverage, and with it the Sustainable Development Goal of health and wellbeing for all,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said at the Seventieth session of the Regional Committee in Maldives.

Prepare well to rapidly detect, respond to vector-borne diseases: WHO

WHO/Sri Lanka/R Premaratne

Concerned at the increasing frequency and intensity of outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya, WHO today stressed the need to strengthen health systems’ capacities to prevent, detect, control and eliminate existing and emerging vector-borne diseases in WHO South-East Asia Region.

“A more holistic and integrated approach, along with improved capacities at national and sub-national levels, are vital to effectively respond to vector-borne diseases. Most vector-borne diseases are preventable if vector control is well implemented,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said at the Seventieth session of the Regional Committee in Maldives.

Ministry of Health Maldives gets WHO Excellence in Public Health Award

he Ministry of Health, Maldives, has been conferred the Excellence in Public Health award by WHO South-East Asia Region. “The award is an acknowledgement of the significant achievements of the Ministry of Health. Maldives is on an accelerated journey to strengthen its health system. It has been making enormous contributions to health and wellbeing of its people as well as the Region,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said while giving the award to Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, Minister of Health Maldives, at a function last evening.

To achieve SDG vision, revive and adapt primary health care services and monitor access inequalities: WHO

WHO/ A. Bhatiasevi

At the Seventieth session of the Regional Committee in Maldives, World Health Organization emphasized the critical need for countries in the South-East Asia Region to strengthen primary health care – including the skills of frontline health workers – and enhance monitoring of health services coverage and financial protection as they strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of health and wellbeing for all.

“There is an urgent need to revive and adapt frontline services and health workers to meet today’s needs. By doing this countries can accelerate public health gains, including by reducing maternal and child mortality and strengthening health security. They can also tackle looming challenges such as the increased burden of noncommunicable diseases,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, said.

Eliminate Hepatitis from WHO South-East Asia Region: Amitabh Bachchan

Making a passionate plea to eliminate viral hepatitis from WHO South-East Asia Region, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in the Region, stressed the need to increase awareness about the preventable disease and end discrimination against the affected.

“If this ailment is detected in time and care can be taken, there are medications that can halt this virus. A very high burden of hepatitis exists in the South-East Asia Region. Whatever work we can do to eliminate hepatitis – to detect and cure it – we must do,” Mr Bachchan said while addressing the Seventieth Regional Committee session of WHO South-East Asia Region.

WHO South-East Asia Region commits to building health systems resilience to climate change

WHO/Perera

In recognition of the immense and increasing public health risks caused by climate change, Member countries of WHO South-East Asia Region today unanimously endorsed the Malé Declaration, committing to build health systems able to anticipate, respond to, cope with, recover from and adapt to climate-related shocks and stress.

“WHO South-East Asia Region is committed to supporting Member countries as they strive to strengthen health systems to deal with one of the 21st century’s most pressing issues – climate change. We know what must be done. We can and must act now to meet the immense and increasing public health risks caused by climate change,” Dr Khetrapal Singh said.

Health for all emphasized as WHO South-East Asia Region’s health ministers meet opens

World Health Organization emphasized the need to make health for all a top priority in WHO South-East Asia Region as health ministers, leaders and officials commenced a five-day meeting here today.

“The challenges we all face are real and complex. We are committed to the achievement of universal health coverage. Every single country is making headway and we have powerful means to measure progress,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Region, said at the inauguration of the Seventieth Regional Committee session of WHO South-East Asia, the governing body meeting of WHO in the Region.

70th Regional Committee session of WHO South-East Asia Region

Building health systems resilient to climate change, improving access to essential medicines for all and intensifying efforts to end tuberculosis are among key issues that will be discussed next week at a meeting of health ministers of WHO South-East Asia Region, home to nearly a quarter of the global population.

Milkha Singh is WHO SEAR Goodwill Ambassador for Physical Activity

India’s legendary sportsperson, Mr Milkha Singh, has been appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Physical Activity in South-East Asia Region.

Mr Milkha Singh will promote WHO South-East Asia Region’s NCD Prevention and Control Action Plan which seeks to reduce the level of insufficient physical activity by 10% and NCDs by 25% by 2025.

World Hepatitis Day 2017 - Eliminate Hepatitis

On 28 July WHO observes World Hepatitis Day to encourage the elimination of hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Each year viral hepatitis infects millions of people across the Region, causing around 410 000 deaths. It is estimated that just one in ten people infected with the disease know their status. WHO urges everyone to inform themselves about the infection, get tested and seek treatment to reduce needless deaths from this preventable and treatable infection.

Tobacco control measures reaching more people

More people than ever before are covered by life-saving tobacco control policies, including in the South-East Asia Region. That’s one of the findings of a new WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, which documents how 63% of the world’s population is now covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure mandated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), from graphic warnings on tobacco packages to bans on tobacco advertising. Tobacco currently kills more than 7 million people annually.

Sri Lanka scales up efforts against dengue

Sri Lanka is witnessing an increase in dengue cases this year. Over 80,000 cases have been reported, with a significant number from the western provinces.

The Ministry of Health is scaling up vector control measures and community engagement to ensure people protect themselves against mosquito bites and prevent mosquito breeding sites.

WHO is supporting the government in its dengue outbreak response, to bring down the caseload and reduce case fatality.

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