Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh has been nominated as regional director of WHO South-East Asia for a second five-year term.
The 11 member countries of WHO South-East Asia Region, which met at the regional committee session to elect the next regional director, selected Dr Khetrapal Singh unanimously, reports said.
Dr Khetrapal Singh’s current term started on 1 February 2014. During the period, she identified seven flagship priorities -– achieving universal health coverage; strengthening emergency response capacity; reversing non-communicable disease epidemics; finishing off neglected tropical diseases; combating antimicrobial resistance; preventing maternal, under-five and neonatal deaths, eliminating measles and controlling rubella. She further added eliminating tuberculosis as her eighth flagship in 2017.
The region, which was certified polio-free in 2014, continues to maintain this status. It also succeeded in eliminating maternal
and neonatal tetanus, becoming only the second WHO region to do so. The region could also bring down the maternal mortality rates by 69 per cent.
Dr Khetrapal’s next five-year term will begin on 1 February 2019.