ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has nominated Dr Sania Nishtar as its candidate for the post of World Health Organisation (WHO) director general (DG).According to an official statement issued on Sunday, National Health Services (NHS) Minister Saira Afzal Tarar introduced and solicited support for Dr Nishar, who was also present during a meeting of the health ministers of the Commonwealth in Geneva.Dr Nishtar has extensive experience in public healthcare including working on government initiatives. She has also had a career as a civil society leader and founded the non-governmental organisation HeartFile in 1999.
An official at the NHS ministry said that elections for WHO head will be held by May 2017 and that campaigning for the elections has started.He explained that the WHO Constitution required the DG be appointed by the World Health Assembly on nomination by the WHO Executive Board.
“Health experts from different countries inclusing France, Ethiopia and Pakistan have been hoping to be elected WHO head. However, some people say that this time the DG will be from Africa,” he said.Dr Margaret Chan is currently serving as WHO DG. She was appointed for the second time in May 2012 and will serve a five-year term till June 2017.