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Dr. Hanan Balkhy, the new WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, recently convened the 10th meeting of the Regional Subcommittee on Polio Eradication and Outbreaks. This marked the first time that the Subcommittee had been held under her leadership. The health ministers from several countries in the region, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, attended the virtual meeting to discuss strategies for strengthening the fight against polio and ultimately eradicating the disease.

During the meeting, Dr. Balkhy’s commitment to ending polio was praised by Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Al-Kuwari, Minister of Public Health from Qatar, and Subcommittee Co-chair, as well as His Excellency Mr. Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Oweis, Minister of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates, who was represented by Dr. Hussain Al Rand. The ministers emphasized the importance of working together and implementing effective strategies to combat the spread of polio.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the ministers to collaborate and exchange ideas on how to accelerate progress towards a polio-free world. They highlighted Dr. Balkhy’s leadership as a key factor in achieving this goal and discussed how her expertise could benefit not only their own countries but also bring global efforts closer to eradicating polio once and for all.

Overall, the meeting underscored the dedication of health ministers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to eradicating polio and emphasized continued collaboration and action as essential steps towards achieving this goal.

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