Meeting with SEAR WHO Country Office Planning Focal Points on Programme Development and Management

Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region giving opening remark at a meeting with SEAR WHO Country Office Planning Focal Points on Programme Development and Management, Yangon, Myanmar.

During 9-12 March 2009, a meeting on Programme Development and Management was held in Yangon for WHO country focal points responsible for WHO planning process with countries. The meeting drew together participants from all WHO country offices in South East Asia Region including Bangladesh, Bhutan, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Awarding high importance to the event, WHO Regional Director of South East Asia Dr Samlee Plianbangchang gave the opening remarks in which he highlighted both challenges and opportunities for WHO in developing collaborative activities with countries for the years 2010 and 2011. In the current economic climate in which there will be a reduction in the amount of financial resources that the WHO will receive for activities, it will be even more important to work closely with countries to make sure that the health needs of the countries are taken into account in WHO activities. Both the SEAR Regional Committee in September 2008 and the WHO Executive Board in January 2009 highlighted the need to distribute WHO funds in an equitable manner across different areas of work, and to make sure that priority activities that are crucial for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, such as the improvement of maternal and child health, are sufficiently funded. Following the meeting, WHO/SEARO will embark on the process of planning WHO activities for 2010 -2011 in the Region. In recalling the vision and mandate of WHO, Director of Programme Management Dr Myint Htwe stressed that WHO activities for 2010 -2011 should be geared towards strengthening heath systems using the Primary Health Care approach with activities reflecting the country needs and priorities.