Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan chairs 74th World Health Assembly


The Health Minister and the Chairman of WHO Executive Board, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on May 24, 2021, presented the details of the 147th and 148th sessions of the Executive Board before the 74th World Health Assembly.

Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros also briefed about the various activities of WHO including those that have been taken up for COVID-19 Management.

While speaking on the occasion, the Union Health Minister summarized the highlights of the 147th and 148th sessions of EB as well as its special session on the COVID-19 response which was held on October 5 and 6, 2020.

Health Minister presents highlights of Executive Board sessions:

• Harsh Vardhan, Chairman of the WHO Executive Board, noted that the board has called for further efforts to ensure equitable and fair access to Coronavirus vaccines to COVAX Facility.

• The Executive Board during the sessions engaged in the discussion on the impact of Coronavirus on global health.

• The Board recommended that the 74th WHA must also consider the report on the mental health preparedness and the response for the COVID-19 pandemic.

• The Executive Board during the 147th and 148th sessions recommended endorsing the updated comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan for a period of 2013 to 2030.

• The board encouraged the World Health Organisation to work closely with the World Organisation or Animal Health and the Food and Agricultural Organisation for identifying the zoonotic source of the virus.

• The Health Minister informed that the Board also decided to encourage Member States to take further action to address diabetes as a public health problem.

• The Executive Board has also recommended that the 74th World Health Assembly must adopt a decision for presenting a road map for the global action plan for the control and prevention of non-communicable diseases till 2030.

What is the World Health Assembly?

It is a forum through which WHO is governed by its 194 member states. The World health assembly is the world’s highest health policy setting body and is composed of the Health Ministers from WHO’s member states.

The major tasks of the World Health Assembly are to decide major policy questions and approve the WHO work programme and budget. It also elects its Director-general and annually elects 10 members for renewing part of its executive board.

Currently, the Health Minister of India Dr. Harsh Vardhan is the Chairman of the WHO Executive Board. He was appointed for the position in May 2020. Vardhan had succeeded Dr. Hiroki Nakatani of Japan.

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