Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh
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Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, an Indian national, became the first woman to assume the office of WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia on 1 February 2014. Dr Khetrapal Singh’s priority areas of work in the Region are:

• Addressing the persisting and emerging epidemiological and demographic challenges
• Promoting universal health coverage and robust health systems
• Strengthening emergency risk management for sustainable development
• Articulating a strong regional voice in the global health agenda

She served for over two decades as a civil servant in India as member of the Indian Administrative Services. She was the Health Secretary of the State of Punjab, with a population of 22 million and a health budget of US$ 350 million.

In 1987 she moved to the Health, Population and Nutrition Department of The World Bank. In 1998 she joined WHO headquarters as Executive Director, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments Cluster, and a member of the HQ senior management. Dr Khetrapal Singh served as WHO Deputy Regional Director for the South-East Asia Region from 2000 to 2013. In February 2013, she joined the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India as Advisor for International Health, where her principal task was to strengthen global health outcomes and provide guidance to the Ministry to take forward the international health agenda.

Entries by Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh

Crisis Presents Opportunities To Rebuild Resilient, Equitable Health Systems In Nepal

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 8:20 AM

More than one month ago when the first earthquake tore across the Himalayan country of Nepal, it caused injury, death and destruction. The fact that this earthquake was anticipated for some time now failed to dim the shock and sorrow it caused. Images of grief-stricken Nepali citizens - from the...

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Eliminating Leprosy Needs Renewed Efforts, Greater Push

(3) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 7:15 AM

The elimination of leprosy as a global public health problem in the year 2000 was a significant milestone in history. Though the prevalence has come down to less than one case per 10,000 population globally, new cases are being reported from more than 100 countries. As per the leprosy statistics...

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South Asia's Water Woes -- Is There Hope?

(2) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 4:06 PM

Most of the 1.5 million children that die each year as a result of unsafe water live in South Asia. While the situation is dire, it is not hopeless and could pave the way for better cooperation.

On February 10, 2013, in India over 30 million people took a dip...

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