We Welcome World Health Organization Director General Dr. Lee Jong-Wook
THE role and importance of the World Health Organization became most manifest during the recent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic that hit many countries in the Region. To contain the spread of the virus, the WHO issued regular alerts to all their country offices, monitoring the spread of the epidemic, providing immediate technical and equipment assistance, and generally, coordinating with local and other international agencies so that the illness could be contained.
To further ensure the relevance of the organization, the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific Region will meet from today until September 12 in their Manila office, along United Nations Avenue. The session is expected to assist the delegates of WHO member countries to review the work of the regional office of the agency within the past year, specifically along the themes of its work, namely: Combating communicable disease, building healthy communities and populations, the development of the health sector, and reaching out by means of information dissemination and technological assistance to local health units.
The delegates in the five-day meeting are expected to review policies, programmes and directions for the future on a host of health concerns, from the expanded programme on immunization against measles and hepatitis B, to the incidence of various diseases from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV-AIDS, tuberculoses, SARS; and finally, devise a regional strategy for improving access to essential medicines in the region in the next five years. Other specific concerns to be discussed include the issue of child health and tobacco control.
The Western Pacific Region, one of the six regions of the World Health Organization, is home to approximately 1.6 billion people, nearly onethird of the worlds population. It stretches over a vast area from China in the north and west, to New Zealand in the south, and French Polynesia in the east. …