Dr Nazneen Anwar, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to the Maldives, on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The meeting was held at the President’s Office.
The President expressed his gratitude to Dr Anwar for the exemplary efforts of the organisation. He added that the support extended by the organisation to the Maldives during the Covid-19 pandemic had been crucial. Dr Anwar commended the Maldives for executing well-timed, strategic interventions against the Covid-19 pandemic and achieving the vaccination goal of reaching 70 per cent of the population, well ahead of other countries in the region.
Speaking at the meeting, President Solih highlighted the invaluable cooperation received from the WHO in providing support for vulnerable groups and people suffering from substance abuse. He added that psychological support is an area where the Maldives needs to focus more.
The WHO representative highlighted the shortage of trained and experienced psychiatrists for mental health patients throughout the region, noting that the WHO-led Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) is designed to address the concern. She said that the organisation is working alongside the Ministry of Education on a pilot project to create awareness among students. Stressing the importance of incorporating such programmes within the curriculum, she said several new initiatives focused on the school level.
In conclusion, the President stated that the Maldives highly values the relationship with the WHO. In this regard, Dr Anwar expressed her gratitude for the Maldives’ hospitable and conducive working environment.