The Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Southeast Asia, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, paid a courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The meeting was held Monday morning at the President’s Office.
President Solih and Dr Khetrapal Singh reflected on the Maldives’ long-standing strong relationship with the WHO during the meeting. They also spoke about the improved relations and the commitments fulfilled over the years.
Dr Khetrapal Singh went on to praise the Maldives for its efforts to develop the health sector, emphasising how well it handled the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the Maldives made spectacular progress in balancing its focus on health and managing its economy after the pandemic. She added that the Maldives was one of the few countries that invested a considerable amount in developing its health sector, stating that the Maldives spends nearly 12 per cent of its GDP on developing the sector.
The President expressed gratitude to WHO for its continued support and guidance. He also highlighted the need for additional expertise in training technical staff for the health sector. Dr Khetrapal Singh stressed that her strong suit lies in supporting disease elimination efforts and commended the Maldives on eliminating several diseases, including malaria and polio.
President Solih and Dr Khetrapal Singh expressed a renewed commitment to working closely to develop the health sector. In conclusion, President Solih and Dr Khetrapal Singh expressed their eagerness for future cooperation.