First Indian national, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh takes charge as WHO Regional Director

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh will take charge as WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia Region from February 1, thus becoming the first Indian national and the first woman to hold the post.

She was elected by the 11 Member States of the Region in September 2013 and subsequently appointed by the WHO Executive Board at its 134th session in January 2014.

Committing to an excellence-pursuing, responsive and accountable WHO in the Region, Dr Khetrapal Singh said, β€œIt is a great honour to be appointed Regional Director at an important moment in the history of public health and at a time when WHO is undergoing reform.”

The South-East Asia Region is expected to be certified polio free by WHO in March 2014. β€œI am steadfast in my resolve to bring change, to explore new avenues and to build partnerships for a technically sound, committed and dynamic WHO to meet each and every public health challenge in South-East Asia,” added Dr Khetrapal Singh.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh served for over two decades as a civil servant in India as a member of the Indian Administrative Services. She was the Secretary to Health, Family Welfare and Medical Education in the State of Punjab, with a population of 22 million and a health budget of US$ 350 million.

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2/1/2014 9:21:41 AM