In a recent development, Bangladesh’s Saima Wazed, daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, emerged victorious in the election for the next World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for South-East Asia. She secured a significant majority of votes, surpassing her opponent, Nepal’s Shambhu Prasad Acharya.
The Election Outcome
- During the election, which took place at the 76th session of the Regional Committee for the WHO South-East Asia Region (SEARO) in New Delhi, Wazed was nominated through a secret ballot.
- Out of the 10 votes cast, she garnered an impressive 8 votes in her favor, while Acharya, a distinguished WHO official from Nepal, only managed to secure 2 votes.
WHO South-East Asia Region (SEARO)
- The SEARO is one of the six regions within the World Health Organization, with its headquarters located in New Delhi.
- This regional body plays a crucial role in addressing public health challenges and promoting healthcare initiatives in the South-East Asian countries.
Saima Wazed’s Upcoming Role
- As a result of her election victory, Saima Wazed is set to take office as the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia on February 1, 2024, embarking on a five-year term.
- Furthermore, she will have the option for reappointment at the end of her initial term, providing continuity in her leadership role.
Saima Wazed’s Background and Current Role
- Saima Wazed currently serves as the chairperson of Bangladesh’s National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
- Her background in advocating for autism awareness and her involvement in healthcare-related initiatives make her a suitable candidate for this pivotal regional role.
Saima Wazed’s Vision
- After her election triumph, Saima Wazed expressed her enthusiasm for the role and her commitment to “building a healthier South-East Asia.”
- Her tenure as the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia holds promise for the advancement of public health and healthcare in the region.