Khairy named VP of next year’s World Health Assembly


Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, RAHIMY RAHIM and TARRENCE TAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has been unanimously elected the vice-president of the upcoming 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) that takes place next May in Geneva.

Expressing his gratitude for the unanimous nomination by delegates as vice-president, Khairy said the voice of the Western Pacific region would be brought to the world assembly.

“Thank you to all the @WHOWPRO countries for unanimously nominating Malaysia as vice-president for WHA 2022.

“We will bring the voice of the Western Pacific to the world assembly especially on the principles of equity, solidarity and accountability,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said it was indeed a great honour for Malaysia to be accorded the vice-presidency of WHA, adding that this would be the opportunity to pursue a bigger role in the global health arena.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that at the 72nd WHO Regional Committee Meeting for the Western Pacific Region (WPR) in Himeji, Japan, (Health Minister) Khairy Jamaluddin has been unanimously nominated by Western Pacific member states as the vice-president of the upcoming 75th WHA.

“WHA compromises 194 member states, and it is the highest decision-making body of WHO. Malaysia was given due recognition for its active role on the global health platform in the 69th WHA in 2015, and in the upcoming 75th WHA in 2022, representing all 37 member states from WPR,” he said in Facebook statement yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that Malaysia was also coincidentally serving on the executive board of WHO from 2021 to 2024.

Meanwhile, in his intervention note delivered at the ongoing 72nd Session of the Regional Committee Meeting for the Western Pacific (RCM72) that began on Monday in Japan, Khairy said one of the many lessons learned from the ongoing pandemic was that there were differing facets of wellness.

In particular, he said Malaysia recognised WHO’s efforts to maximise and uplift the profession of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM).

With regard to traditional medicine, he said: “Malaysia’s diverse population from the great civilisations of Asia presents us with an abundance of opportunities to draw on the wealth of knowledge and practice from the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Islamic World, in addition to our many indigenous communities.

“T&CM makes an important contribution here, especially as more people take ownership of their health.”

Khairy said in terms of availability and affordability, Malaysia continued to integrate T&CM services at all levels of the health delivery system, as well as ensuring that the development of T&CM and its practices were guided by national policies and regulations to ensure quality and safety.

The commencement of registration of T&CM practitioners at the national level began in March this year, and the exercise is ongoing.

“Malaysia has always been an enthusiastic participant in WHO’s efforts to develop and proliferate T&CM locally and across borders as it continues to play an important role, as well as supports and looks forward to embracing and assisting in implementing the regional framework for harnessing T&CM in the Western Pacific,” said Khairy. — Bernama

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