The Resident Representative of the World Health Organization to the Maldives, Dr. Arvind Mathur, paid his farewell call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, this morning, at the President’s Office. Welcoming Dr Mathur, President Solih thanked the WHO Resident Representative for the exemplary work he has done in the Maldives during his tenure, especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Remarking that the crisis has once again illustrated the particular vulnerabilities of small island states, the President thanked the WHO for all the assistance they provided the Maldives to help contain and manage the Covid-19 virus, and the guidance they provided to the country’s recovery efforts. The President acknowledged that these efforts were greatly enhanced by Dr. Mathur’s hard work and leadership. The WHO Resident Representative in turn praised the President for his Government’s foresight and diligence in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in close coordination with medical authorities, and for its efforts to progress healthcare in the Maldives in the past two years. He highlighted the Government’s prioritization and investment in public health, primary healthcare and mental-health, facilitating HVP Vaccines to prevent cervical cancer, and efforts to enhance healthcare accessibility nationwide, as examples. He also noted the Maldives successful eradication of Rubella in 2020, and stated that the maintenance of these wider public health gains during this time is an achievement. Further he praised the Government’s quick and effective decision making in in its efforts to contain the pandemic.

The President further expressed his hope that the Maldives can count on WHO’s support in overcoming the challenges that we face in addressing the health emergency, including in procuring and storing viable vaccines once they are generally available. The WHO Resident Representative welcomed the Maldives decision to join the COVAX facility and confirmed that the organization would do its utmost to support the Maldives in this important task.

Ending the call, the President once again thanked the WHO Resident Representative for the close cooperation between the Maldives and the WHO throughout the years and for Dr. Mathur’s invaluable contributions during his tenure in the country. Ending the call, the President wished the WHO resident representative well in his future endeavors.

Also attending the call were Uz Ali Zahir, the Chief of Staff at the President’s Office, Ms Sabra Noordeen, Secretary, Foreign Relations at the President’s Office, Dr Abdul Malik, Undersecretary at the President’s Office, and Ms Aminath Ismail, Executive Assistant at WHO Maldives Country Office.