Joy to the world!
By Maria Bradshaw | Thu, June 07, 2012 - 12:03 AM
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER Dr Joy St John has been appointed chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO), making her the first Caribbean citizen to hold the prestigious position.
Minister of Health Donville Inniss, in making the announcement yesterday at the ministry, said it was an appointment that “all of Barbados should feel proud of”.
“Barbados has chaired many committees before but this was the first time that the opportunity presented itself for us to assume the chairmanship,” he said, adding that
St John was also the first woman to hold the position in a decade.
St John said she looked forward to working in the WHO post. While she had to be neutral, Barbados and the wider Caribbean would be adequately represented, she said.
“This year I want to make a difference. I will be neutral but the person who sits in Barbados’ chair as a delegate has to be a strong advocate for Barbados and the Caricom,” she pointed out.
She told members of the media that one of the first things she would be focusing on was strengthening the way Barbados dealt with nuclear and chemical events.
“We are going to a special workshop next week. We are going to start to build our radio-nuclear regulation functions and we plan to use that opportunity to get specific resources for Barbados,” she said.
“When I am in that seat, I can also learn and translate not only to Barbados but Caricom issues and standards.”
The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.
All of the WHO top posts are held by women.
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