Saima Wazed has been nominated as the next World Health Organization Regional Director for Southeast Asia.
Member States voted to nominate Ms. Saima Wazed during a closed meeting at the Seventy-sixth session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Southeast Asia Region, according to a WHO public release published from New Delhi on Wednesday.
The release also noted the nomination would be submitted to the WHO Executive Board during its 154th session, taking place on 22−27 January 2024, in Geneva, Switzerland. The newly appointed Regional Director will take office on February 1, 2024, a WHO notification added.
The election was held by secret ballot with the participation of the 10 member States of the SEARO which were eligible for voting. She bagged 08 votes in the bid while the other candidate Dr Shambhu Prasad Acharya, nominated by the Government of Nepal, secured 02 votes.
Meantime, a release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka on Wednesday said that Saima’s election with overwhelming support reflects the recognition of Saima’s passion and relentless work in public health and demonstrates the confidence and trust of the region in her leadership skills.
Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, conducted an effective campaign in favour of the Bangladesh candidature since the very beginning of the election process.
The SEARO is one of the six regions of WHO with its headquarters in New Delhi, India. It comprises 11 countries, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste. The SEARO is headed by the RD who is nominated by the members of the SEARO countries.