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    70th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia hosted by Maldives begins today

    The Seventieth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia is being hosted by Maldives this year from 6th – 10th of September 2017.

    The Maldives delegation consists of high-level representatives from the Ministry of Health and is headed by Minister of Health honorable. Abdullah Nazim Ibrahim. His Excellency Abdullah Nazim Ibrahim, Minister of Health Republic of Maldives, is elected as the Chairperson of the Seventieth Session of the Regional Committee. The Regional Committee for South-East Asia is the World Health Organization’s governing body in the South-East Asia Region, It meets in September every year to review progress in health development in the Region as well as to discuss existing and new health priorities and consider the regional implications of the World Health Assembly resolutions, among others. World Health Organization Director General Dr.Tedros Ghebreyesus and Regional Director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh will address the meeting, which will be attended by Health Ministers and senior officials from 11 Member countries and representatives of partner organizations.

    Building health systems resilient to climate change, vector control, anti microbial resistance, improving access to essential medicines for all and intensifying efforts to end tuberculosis and Hepatitis by 2030 are among the key agenda items that will be discussed. Furthermore, strengthening primary health care and the health workforce and progress towards universal health coverage are among other priority issues that will be addressed at the meeting, reflecting the Region’s drive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for health

    WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia Region, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, will join the meeting to advocate for urgent action against viral hepatitis, a preventable disease that kills approximately 410 000 people in the Region every year.

    In addition, Ministers will discuss on ways to strengthen inter-country cooperation in areas such as medicines procurement and pricing, and regulation of medical products, as well as ways to enhance appropriate use of medicines, especially antibiotics. The meeting will also deliberate on the action needed to cut down road traffic injuries, on accelerating efforts to end tuberculosis and vector control.

    The focus of the meeting will be on climate change – a Ministerial Declaration and a “Framework for Action on Building Health Systems Resilience to Climate Change” will be among the highlights of the meeting. A well prepared and responsive health system is crucial for preventing and minimizing the increasing health risks posed by climate change