Bangladesh will be nominated as a member of the WHO executive board at Geneva headquarters for a three-year period beginning from 2019.
The information was disclosed at the 71st regional committee meeting of the health ministers of the World Health Organisation of the South-East Asia Region which ended on Friday at the Tajmahal Hotel of New Delhi in India, said a press release in Dhaka on Friday.
Chaired by health minister of India Jagat Prakash Nadda, the meeting was also attended by WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the regional director of WHO South-East Asia Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
A four-member delegation headed by state minister of health and family welfare Zahid Maleque represented Bangladesh at the five-day meeting that began on September 3 at the same hotel.
The other members of Bangladesh delegation comprised Directorate General of Health Services director general Professor Abul Kalam Azad, deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh in New Delhi Rakebul Haque, private secretary to the state minister Arifur Rahman Sheikh and deputy programme manager of the National Nutrition Programme of DGHS Mafizul Islam Bulbul.
The five-day meeting took important decisions, among others, on elimination of malaria, and control of Dengue and other vector-borne diseases from the region, and reviewed the progress on health workforce, universal health coverage, measles elimination, birth and death registration, and promoting physical activity.
An important outcome of the meeting was adoption of Delhi Declaration for improving access to essential medicines in the Region and beyond.
As part of the meeting, a special award was given to Bangladesh for outstanding performances in the control of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.
Zahid Maleque held several bilateral meetings. He met with health minister of India Jagat Prakash Nadda, with WHO DG Tedros and with WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
In his meeting with the WHO DG, he extended invitation to Tedros to visit Bangladesh.
Zahid Maleque sought WHO’s assistance to make a sustainable solution of universal health coverage in the country by beginning with protecting the population under extreme poverty so that the extreme poor get full healthcare support without needing to pay.
WHO’s immediate assistance was also needed for making the National Drug Control Laboratory with international experts, and for making the public hospitals more efficient and welcoming to the ordinary people.
The state minister also requested for more opportunities for Bangladeshi nationals to be employed in WHO positions.
Tedros expressed his hope to visit Bangladesh sometime in January 2019 and visit the Rohingya camps during this visit.
Tedros also promised that he would extend necessary support to make the National Drug Control Laboratory functional and the Bangladeshi public hospitals more people-centred and efficient.
He promised to explore opportunities for absorbing more Bangladeshi nationals in WHO positions. He advised to encourage Bangladeshi nationals to submit applications whenever such applications were invited for WHO vacancies.
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