71st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia Region has begun today in New Delhi, India. Health Ministers and Senior officials from all 11 Member States of the Region will attend this meeting from 3rd to 7th September 2018. A High level delegation from Maldives is also attending this meeting, which is the highest policy making committee of WHO for this region. The meeting will be attended by the Director General of WHO, Regional Director for South-East Asia Region, Deputy Director General of WHO and other high level officials from the WHO Headquarters and the Regional Office. In addtion, officials from partner organizations and Civil Society will also be attending this meeting.
During this years meeting, elections will be held to appoint a Regional Director for the South-East Asia Region for the next 5 years.
The topic for this years Ministerial roundtable meeting will focus on “Access to Medical Products”. The discussions will include challenges faced in importing and delivering of medicine, vaccines and other medical products and devices. During these discussions, the Health Ministers will deliberate a high level declaration on “Access to Medical Products” to overcome the challenges and achieve Universal Health Coverage through this.
Additionally, important areas such as stregnthening of Emergency Medical Teams during health emergencies, measures against vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika in the region, and efforts to reduce the infant, under-5 and maternal mortalities as well as promoting physical activity to reduce NCDs will be discussed at the meeting. Furthermore, governance matters related to progress of work of the South-East Asia Regional Office new building, WHO budget reports and implementation of work plans will also be discussed.
On the sidelines of the Regional Committee Meeting, Maldivian delegation will be meeting with high level officials from other countries to discuss bilateral collaborations to strengthen the health workforce, capacity building and other longterm collaborative areas between the countries. The Maldivian delegation will also be meeting with the Regional Director as well to discuss important health issues with specific relevance to the Maldives.