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A global challenge to deliver vaccine, says WHO executive board

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

A global challenge to deliver vaccine, says WHO executive board:


If 2020 was the year of discovery of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 will be the year India faces the challenge of getting them to people across the world who most need it, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is the Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization, has said.

What is the WHO Executive Board?

It is one of the WHO’s two decision making bodies. The other one is the World Health Assembly. The agency’s headquarters are located at Geneva in Switzerland.


  • The executive Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health.
  • The Board chairman’s post is held by rotation for one year by each of the WHO’s six regional groups: African Region, Region of the Americas, South-East Asia Region, European Region, Eastern Mediterranean Region, and Western Pacific Region.


Members are elected for three-year terms.


  1. Sets out agenda for the Health Assembly and resolutions for forwarding to the Assembly are adopted.
  2. Gives effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly.
  3. Advises it and facilitates its work.
  4. The Board and the Assembly create a forum for debate on health issues and for addressing concerns raised by Member States.
  5. Both the Board and the Assembly produce three kinds of documents — Resolutions and Decisions passed by the two bodies, Official Records as published in WHO Official publications, and Documents that are presented “in session” of the two bodies.

Key facts:

  1. India became a party to the WHO Constitution on 12 January 1948.
  2. The first Regional Director for South East Asia was an Indian, Dr Chandra Mani, who served between 1948-1968.


Prelims Link:

  1. World Health Assembly- composition and functions.
  2. Regional bodies of WHO.
  3. Documents released by WHA and executive board.
  4. Chairmanship of EB.

Mains Link:

Discuss the composition and objectives of WHO executive board.

Sources: the Hindu.