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Saima Wazed reaffirms commitment to strengthening health sector resilience

Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Saima Wazed has reiterated the World Health Organization’s commitment to supporting and strengthening the resilience of Bangladesh’s health sector in view of the country’s vulnerability to health impacts of climate change.

Wazed, who commenced her country visits with her home country Bangladesh after assuming office on February 1, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 22, reports UNB.

She concluded her six-day official visit to Bangladesh on Saturday.

The discussions centred around enhancing capabilities of healthcare professionals, particularly in addressing the health sector challenges exacerbated by climate change and its effects on disease transmission, WHO said on Saturday.

Additionally, the Regional Director affirmed her commitment to supporting endeavours aimed at achieving universal health coverage.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Hasina highlighted Bangladesh’s significant progress in the health sector, emphasising ongoing efforts to combat breast cancer and the expansion of health infrastructure and services, according to WHO.

They discussed Bangladesh’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for licencing private health practitioners, and strengthening collaboration between WHO and Bangladesh for improving healthcare outcomes and addressing emerging health threats.

During her country visit, the Regional Director inaugurated the new WHO country office on March 24, and held an interactive town hall meeting with staff to discuss strengthening of WHO’s work to advance health and well-being in Bangladesh.

The Regional Director and the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk visited the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery where Bangladesh Health Minister Dr Samanta Lal Sen briefed them on the institute’s healthcare services.

The Regional Director met the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and held an informal consultation with partners for collaboration on priority health issues.