Poonam Khetrapal Singh elected as new Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia

Published: September 6, 2018

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh from India has been unanimously re-elected as Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia for another 5-year term beginning February 2019. The elections were held at the ongoing 71st regional committee meeting of WHO South-East Asia in New Delhi. In her ongoing first term as Regional Director, four countries in the Region have eliminated measles and six have controlled rubella. The South-East Asia Region, which is certified polio free in 2014, continues to maintain this status. The maternal mortality rates in the Region have reduced by 69%. Among neglected tropical diseases, India eliminated yaws, Nepal eliminated trachoma, while Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand have eliminated lymphatic filariasis. Two countries – Maldives and Sri Lanka – have eliminated malaria. All countries are implementing national action plans to combat anti-microbial resistance. Dr Singh is the first woman to have been elected to the position of Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Region after an illustrious career in the Indian civil service, World Bank and WHO.

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