Former Health Official Appointed to WHO Western Pacific’s Second Highest Post

HEALTH BODY The World Health Organization’s name and logo are seen at its headquarters in the city of Geneva, western Switzerland on April 15, 2020. AP FILE PHOTO
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In an exciting development for the Philippines, a former Health undersecretary, Dr. Susan Pineda-Mercado, has been appointed to the second highest post in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Western Pacific Region. This appointment marks a significant milestone, as Dr. Pineda-Mercado becomes the first Filipino to hold this esteemed position.

The announcement of Dr. Pineda-Mercado’s appointment as the director for programme management (DPM) was made by Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala of Tonga, the newly appointed WHO regional director for the Western Pacific. Both appointments were released on the same day, generating a wave of excitement and pride within the Department of Health (DoH) in the Philippines.

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa expressed his congratulations and confidence in Dr. Pineda-Mercado, stating, “The future is bright. Dr. Susan Mercado deserves the honor of this appointment. RD Saia has chosen his deputy well – the Philippines and our fellow Member States will find that she can be counted on to deliver for the health of all people of the Western Pacific.”

Dr. Pineda-Mercado’s appointment is a testament to her exceptional qualifications and dedication to public health. She was the Philippines’ nominee for the prestigious role of WHO regional director, highlighting her expertise and experience in the field. Her new position as DPM will allow her to contribute her knowledge and skills to the advancement of healthcare in the Western Pacific Region.

This appointment not only brings recognition to Dr. Pineda-Mercado but also reflects the Philippines’ growing influence and contributions to the global health community. As the first Filipino to hold this position, Dr. Pineda-Mercado serves as an inspiration to aspiring healthcare professionals in the country, showcasing the potential for Filipinos to make a significant impact on a global scale.

The Western Pacific Region faces various health challenges, including infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, and health inequalities. Dr. Pineda-Mercado’s appointment comes at a crucial time when the region requires strong leadership and innovative strategies to address these pressing issues.

Given her extensive experience in the field of public health, Dr. Pineda-Mercado is well-equipped to tackle these challenges head-on. Her appointment signifies a new chapter in the WHO’s efforts to promote health and well-being in the Western Pacific Region, with a focus on inclusivity and collaboration.

As a Filipino, Dr. Pineda-Mercado brings a unique perspective and understanding of the region’s cultural nuances, customs, and laws. This contextual knowledge will undoubtedly aid in the development and implementation of effective health programs that are tailored to the specific needs of the diverse populations within the Western Pacific Region.

Furthermore, Dr. Pineda-Mercado’s appointment serves as a reminder of the importance of diversity and representation within international organizations. By appointing individuals from different countries and backgrounds, the WHO demonstrates its commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that a wide range of voices are heard and considered in decision-making processes.

In conclusion, the appointment of Dr. Susan Pineda-Mercado as the director for programme management in the WHO’s Western Pacific Region is a momentous occasion for the Philippines and the entire region. Her expertise, dedication, and cultural understanding position her as a valuable asset in advancing healthcare and addressing the health challenges faced by the Western Pacific Region. This appointment not only recognizes Dr. Pineda-Mercado’s outstanding qualifications but also highlights the Philippines’ growing influence in the global health landscape. As she embarks on this new role, we can expect Dr. Pineda-Mercado to make significant contributions towards improving the health and well-being of the people in the Western Pacific Region.

Source: The Manila Times

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