The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches the ‘COVID India Seva’, an interactive platform for citizen engagement on COVID-19, in New Delhi on April 21, 2020 (PIB)
The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches the ‘COVID India Seva’, an interactive platform for citizen engagement on COVID-19, in New Delhi on April 21, 2020 (PIB)

India health minster Harsh Vardhan takes charge as WHO Board Chiarman

As coronavirus has given the World Health organization enough explanations to do amid massive criticism for its delayed response initially, India’s Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan joined the world body as its board chairman on Friday, at its 147th session, taking over charge from Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan.

He said, “I feel privileged to take charge as Chairman of the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board at its 147th session held virtually.I believe that health is central to economic performance and to enhancing human capabilities.”

The WHO has a 34-member WHO Executive Board, one of the two boards WHO has — the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board. The WHO headquarters is located at Geneva in Switzerland. The UN specialised agency for international public health, is currently at the forefront of fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic.

India comes under its South East Asia Region’s members and was elected last year unanimously to the executive board for a three-year term beginning May. The WHO board has 34 members technically qualified in the field of health,each elected for three-year term, while the Health Assembly is the WHO’s decision-making body with 194 Member States.

The Board chairman’s post is held by rotation for one year by each of the WHO’s six regional groups: African Region, Region of the Americas, South-East Asia Region, European Region, Eastern Mediterranean Region, and Western Pacific Region. The Board is the executive organ of the WHO and implements decisions and policies of the Health Assembly.

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