The work of WHO in the South-East Asia Region, 2005
Other Titlesreport of the Regional Director, 1 July 2004 - 20 June 2005
AbstractIn the global quest for better health, the South-East Asia Region of WHO can set or mar the pace. With its 11 Member States and nearly a fourth of the world's population, the Region faces the double burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases as well as the threat of emerging and reemerging diseases. In addition, six Member States of the Region were devastated by the worst ever, earthquakegenerated tsunamis on 26 December 2004. This unprecedented event also brought forth an overwhelming and spontaneous response from the world community. In collaboration with the Member States and development partners, WHO played a vital role in coordinating the health sector response and in providing emergency health care to the affected population. Steps were also taken to ensure that health facilities were restored as quickly as possible. As a result of these coordinated efforts, no major outbreaks of any diseases were reported from the devastated areas. This was commendable indeed, reflecting the resilience and inherent strength of health systems in the respective Member States. While the tsunami certainly overshadowed most other activities, important areas of health development were, however, given due attention. These included efforts to eliminate or eradicate certain communicable diseases, prevent and control noncommunicable diseases, promote family and community health as well as sustainable development and healthy environments, strengthen health systems development and to streamline programme planning and management. This report provides details of such collaborative efforts. It also highlights the achievements, the challenges and the strategies adopted to achieve the desired results. What stands out vividly is that, despite the formidable odds facing the Region, concerted efforts are being made to reach the set targets. This is particularly so with reference to the Millennium Development Goals. As the tsunami and the epidemics of SARS and avian influenza clearly showed, both Member States and WHO have to be ever vigilant and prepared to effectively respond to such situations. WHO stands committed, as always, to support Member States in their efforts to create a healthier future for their people.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2005). The work of WHO in the South-East Asia Region, 2005. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/206480