Global update: India among 10 nations elected to WHO Executive Board by World Health Assembly

GENEVA: In a major development on Tuesday, India was among 10 nations that were elected by the 73rd World Health Assembly to the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation for a period of three years. The other new members include Botswana, Colombia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Oman, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

The WHO Executive Board is comprised of 34 individuals technically qualified in the health sector designated by member states which are elected by the World Health Assembly.

The Board holds two meetings annually- the first one in January and a shorter meeting in May immediately after the World Health Assembly. The principal functions of the Executive Board is to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and to facilitate its work.

Currently, Dr. Hiroki Nakatani of Japan is the Chairman of the WHO Executive Board. On May 22, 2020, the 147th session of the Board shall be conducted where the election of the chair, vice-chairs, and rapporteurs will take place.

WHO took their twitter handle to confirm this news. World Heath organization tweeted the names of all 10 nations which have been elected as a new member of the WHO executive board. 

And the chairmanship of Executive Board of the world health organisation (WHO) will be done by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is at the forefront in combating the coronavirus in India, reported by the officials.

The Minister will be replacing Japan’s Dr. Hiroki Nakatani (Advisor for International Affairs to Japan’s health minister) who is presently the Chairman of the WHO Executive Board. The executive board which consists of 34 members would be elected for three-year terms including the chairman. The Board meets at least twice a year and finalizes the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly and helps in facilitating its work.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is set to take charge as the chairman of the World Health Organization Executive Board. Executive Board meeting of the WHO will be held on 22nd May where India would be elected to the board.

On Monday, the commencement of World heath assembly took place in which morethan 120 countries, including India, demanded an investigation on the coronavirus origin and WHO involvement in curbing the virus.

Notably, the WHO had on January 23 declared COVID-19 as a global health emergency, but it waited for a week for its director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to return from China to announce the same. By that time, the total cases had increased 10 folds and the virus entered 18
countries. Coronavirus was first detected in China’s Wuhan city.

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