Dr Harsh Vardhan to take over as WHO Executive Board Chairman

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has been selected to become the next Chairman of the 34-member Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO). He will take over the charge on the 22nd of May. Dr Harsh Vardhan will take over from Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, the current Chairman. Currently, the world is reeling under the Coronavirus crisis. The United States has held China responsible for pushing the world into this Coronavirus pandemic. After the US threats and requests from nearly 65 countries, the WHO, recently, ordered an inquiry into the Coronavirus pandemic. At such a crucial time, the chairmanships of the executive board are coming to India.

The South-East Asian group in the WHO unanimously decided that India should be appointed on the executive board for three years. Therefore, the appointment of Dr Harsh Vardhan was a mere formality. On Tuesday, the agreement was reached on appointing India as the Chairman of the executive board. An official informed that 194 countries had signed the proposal.

Being the Chairman of the executive board is not a fulltime position. The board meets twice a year. Dr Harsh Vardhan will have to attend these meetings as the Chairman. The main session of the executive committee is held in January. Meeting of the executive board is held in May, immediately after the Health Assembly. The Chairman of the executive board is responsible for giving proper advice to make the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly more effective.

Before this, in 2016, former Health Minister JP Nadda was the Chairman of the WHO executive board.

The Coronavirus outbreak has increased in the country, while dangerous situations have developed in other countries. But India has taken concrete steps to stop the Coronavirus pandemic. Also, the WHO had praised the Indian measures.

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