Dr Nazneen Anwar, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to the Maldives, on Tuesday, paid a courtesy call on First Lady Fazna Ahmed. The First Lady and the WHO Representative discussed issues of mutual interest and spoke on future collaborations at the meeting held at the President’s Official Residence, Mulee’aage.

Speaking with Dr Anwar, First Lady Fazna extended her gratitude to the WHO for the opportunity to participate in the high-level virtual panel discussion "We the people and our planet: healthy, resilient, sustainable," held by the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia to commemorate World Health Day. Speaking about the prevalence of substance abuse and mental health issues within the community, the First Lady spoke about the importance of addressing these issues early on by incorporating them into the school curriculum, establishing critical support systems, and creating public awareness.

Dr Anwar spoke about the lingering mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the emotional and psychological impacts of the pandemic. She highlighted the interlinkages between mental health and drug abuse and expressed her interest in working alongside the First Lady in addressing these issues. She also commended the Maldives’ handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that the administration did an excellent job of regularly communicating with the public as the pandemic unfolded.