Friday, October 20, 2017

Bangladeshi expert becomes chair of a WHO advisory panel

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-05-20 01:03:10 BdST


A Bangladeshi public health expert has been chosen to chair the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Advisory Group of the World Health Organisation.

Prof Mahmudur Rahman is the immediate past director of the government’s disease monitoring agency, IEDCR.

He was the only Bangladeshi who earlier sat in two of the three WHO emergency committees formed under the International Health Regulations (IHR) that came into force in 2007, after the 2002 SARS outbreak.

Those committees advised the WHO chief with crucial decisions on pandemic influenza.

The 18-member advisory panel comprises health minister as well as health experts of as many countries across the world, according to the WHO.

The member states developed the PIP Framework, and it entered into force on May 24 in 2011 when it was unanimously adopted by the Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly.

It is aimed at improving pandemic influenza preparedness and response and strengthening the protection against the pandemic influenza by enhancing and strengthening the WHO global influenza surveillance and intervention system.

Its functions include monitoring implementation of the PIP Framework and providing evidence-based reporting, assessment and recommendations regarding its functioning.

Among its many areas of work, the Group interacts with industry and other stakeholders and provides advice to the Director-General on the use of the Partnership Contribution.

They also provide to the Director-General an annual report on its evaluation of the implementation of the PIP Framework.

Serving as Director of the IEDCR for 10 years, Prof Rahman played the key role in establishing the National Influenza Center, Nipah and bio-safety level (BSL) 3 laboratory, web-based disease surveillance, and led the 2009 pandemic response in Bangladesh.

Editor of “Text Book of Community Medicine and Public Health”, he authored 98 publications in international and national peer-reviewed journals.