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India’s health minister takes charge a

  Jun 15, 2020

India’s health minister takes charge as WHO Executive Board chairman. Discuss about the functions and structure of WHO?

  1. India would now be playing a more prominent role at the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the Union Health Minister set to take charge as chairman of the WHO Executive Board at its 147th session. 
  2. Indian minister would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.
  3. The WHO, a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, is currently at the forefront of global efforts towards containing the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  4. India is a member state of the South East Asia Region at the WHO. 
  5. Last year, the bloc had unanimously decided that India’s nominee would be elected to the executive board for a three-year term beginning May.
  6. The WHO is governed by two decision-making bodies — the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board. The agency’s headquarters are located at Geneva in Switzerland.
  7. According to the WHO website, the Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health, with members being elected for three-year terms. 
  8. The Health Assembly is the WHO’s decision-making body, and consists of 194 Member States.
  9. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work. 
  10. The Board and the Assembly create a forum for debate on health issues and for addressing concerns raised by Member States.
  11. Both the Board and the Assembly produce three kinds of documents — Resolutions and Decisions passed by the two bodies, Official Records as published in WHO Official publications, and Documents that are presented “in session” of the two bodies.
  12. India became a party to the WHO Constitution on 12 January 1948.