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Saima Wajid Appointed WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia

Utkarsh Classes 24-01-2024
Saima Wajid Appointed WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia Person in News 4 min read

Saima Wajid of Bangladesh has been sworn in as the Regional Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region on 23 January 2024. WHO's appointment of Saima Wajid as Regional Director of the South-East Asia Region was confirmed by its Executive Board in Geneva, Switzerland.

Wajid defeats Shambhu Prasad Acharya of Nepal:

  • Bangladesh's Saima Wajid had won the election to become the Regional Director for South East Asia at the World Health Organisation in New Delhi on 1 November 2023.
  • Saima Wajid defeated Shambhu Prasad Acharya of Nepal by six votes in the election to become South East Asia Regional Director.

Saima is the daughter of PM Sheikh Hasina:

  • Saima Wajid is the daughter of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
  • Saima Wajid has worked extensively on autism.
  • Wajid has updated the public health rules of Bangladesh.
  • Wajid has also implemented the Mental Health Act of 2018 and the National Mental Health Strategic Plan for 2020-25.

Poonam will take charge from Khetrapal:

  • The current WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia Region is Poonam Khetrapal Singh of India. Saima Wajid will take over from Poonam Khetrapal Singh from February 1, 2024.

India had confirmed support to the Bangladeshi candidate:

  • India had affirmed its support for the Bangladeshi candidate well in advance for the elections, joining other supporting countries.

About World Health Organisation (WHO):

  • Establishment: Established in 1948 as a specialized agency of the United Nations.
  • WHO started work from April 7, 1948. Therefore, at present World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April.
  • Headquarters: Located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Director-General: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
  • Currently 194 countries are members of WHO. It has offices in about 150 countries. Along with this, it also has six regional offices.
  • WHO is an inter-governmental organisation . It generally works in collaboration with the health ministries of its member states.
  • WHO shapes the health research agenda by providing leadership on global health issues. It also sets various health related norms and standards.
  • WHO provides technical assistance to countries by articulating evidence-based policy options. It monitors and evaluates health-related trends.

Functions of WHO:

  • WHO acts as the directing and coordinating authority on international health-related work.
  • WHO works in coordination with government health administrations.
  • WHO works with professional groups and other organisations who are leaders in health.
  • WHO provides support to strengthen health services at the request of governments.
  • WHO promotes collaboration among scientific and professional groups that contribute to health progress.


Answer:- Saima Wajid

Answer:- Bangladesh

Answer:- Shambhu Prasad Acharya (Nepal)

Answer:- Poonam Khetrapal Singh (India)
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