Malaysia's handling of pandemic augurs well for new WHO panel role, says Dr Noor Hisham

PETALING JAYA: The World Health Organization (WHO) is confident Malaysia's Covid-19 pandemic response will serve the country well as a key member of the standing committee on global health emergency preparedness, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

The Health director-general, the chair of the Standing Committee on Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (SCHEPPR) until 2025, said WHO endorsed the establishment of the committee on Thursday (Feb 2).

"I have had discussions with WHO Health Emergencies Programme executive director Dr Mike Ryan and his team in Geneva.

"He appreciates our pandemic response, strategies and execution and looks forward to (our input)," Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement on Friday (Feb 3).

ALSO READ: Dr Noor Hisham heads new WHO committee on pandemic response

He added that they also discussed various issues and challenges in managing the pandemic.

WHO’s 34-member executive board agreed at its annual meeting in May to form SCHEPPR to help speed up response to global health emergencies like Covid-19.

According to the terms of reference, the standing committee will provide guidance to the WHO executive board and advise its director-general on health emergency prevention, preparedness and response.

It will also provide input on execution of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, in the event another public health emergency of international concern is declared.

It was reported on Dec 24 that the standing committee would meet at least twice a year, and convene extraordinary meetings if urgent health issues arose.

Prof Jerome Salomon of France is the committee's vice-chair.

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