Kathmandu: The Society of Public Health Physicians Nepal on Wednesday issued an appeal to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda,’ urging him to take all necessary measures to secure Nepal’s victory in the election for the position of Regional Director of the World Health Organization Southeast Asia. This achievement would be a source of great pride for Nepal, the society said in the appeal.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Dahal, the society emphasized that this presents the ideal opportunity for Nepal to take the lead in a United Nations regional organization, and the government should not miss the chance to vigorously lobby and campaign for this position.
The government of Nepal has fielded Dr Shambhu Prasad Acharya, who has over 30 years of experience in public health, for the post of South East Asia Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) after the invitation made by the WHO to the member states of the South-East Asia region to nominate a candidate for the position.
In October, the Regional Committee of WHO Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO) will meet in New Delhi to nominate the organization’s next Regional Director.
The choice of candidate for this critical post will be based on voting behind closed doors by the organization’s eleven member countries–India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Timor Leste, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan, DPR Korea and Maldives.
“The decision will have major implications for health policies across the South East Asia Region, home to a quarter of the world’s population. Apart from bearing thirty percent of the global disease burden South East Asia region also accounts for the highest proportion of global mortality (20%) due to the triple menace of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and injuries. Nearly one-third of the world’s child deaths occur in the region, while the average neonatal and infant mortality rates are also higher than the global averages. Again, more than one-fifth of the world’s adult mortality burden was due to communicable diseases occurring in the region,” the society writes in the letter to PM Dahal.
In other words, failure to choose a competent and experienced candidate based on strict criteria set out in WHO SEAR resolution for the WHO’s regional office will mean gambling with the fate of millions of lives in the region, the society says.
Dr Shambhu Prasad Acharya, with more than 30 years of experience in public health at national, regional and global level. During his professional career, he has amassed skills and competencies on management, technical, leadership, diplomacy, strategic thinking and political astuteness. Dr Acharya has represented WHO in many high-level forums such as High Level Committee on Program, United Nations Development Group and was appointed as Board of Governors of the United Nations Systems Staff College.
In the meantime, the Former International Professionals of Multilateral Organizations-Nepal, in a separate letter, urged Prime Minister Dahal to take all necessary measures to secure Nepal’s victory in the election for the position of Regional Director of the World Health Organization Southeast Asia.