ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Health Saira Afzal Tarar chaired a special session of the World Health Organisation, Eastern Mediterranean region to elect the new regional head of the body in Geneva. The election was held after the sudden demise of incumbent Regional Head Dr Mahmoud Fikri of UAE.
Tarar presided the entire election participated by seven countries of the region including Oman, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and Iraq. Candidates fielded by the respective countries were top health professionals of international standing. Each candidate made a presentation on how they propose to take forward the agenda to improve public health in the region that stretches from Pakistan in South Asia to Mauritania in North Africa.
In the two rounds, Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari of Oman emerged victorious in the polls after attaining the most votes in both the rounds and will now assume the office of regional director WHO EMRO, for a period of five years at the regional office in Cairo, Egypt.
Speaking on the occasion, Tarar extended heartiest congratulations to the elected regional head and called upon all countries of the region to extend him fullest support in the realisation of the common objective of improving the health and well-being of the people of the region.
She also said that since this was her last meeting before the end of her tenure she would like to thank all regional countries for extending cooperation to her as chair of the regional committee. The minister made special mention of the regional committee meeting hosted by her in Islamabad last year which was attended by ministers and officials of 22 countries.