WHO Current Affairs

Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Deputy DG of WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed Dr. Soumya Swaminathan (58) as one of two deputy directors general. This is first time such second-highest position created within WHO and highest post held by Indian in WHO.

Dr Swaminathan will replace Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah from Ghana, who joined WHO as senior policy adviser to director-general.

Soumya Swaminathan

Dr. Swaminathan is currently Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). She is a paediatrician and clinical scientist and globally-recognised researcher on tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, who has over 30 years of experience in clinical care and research.

She did her MBBS and MD from Armed Forces Medical College and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), respectively. She had served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva from 2009 to 2011.

She was member of several WHO and global advisory bodies, including WHO Expert Panel to Review Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and IP, Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of Global TB Department at WHO. She was also Co-Chair of Lancet Commission on TB.

She is one of the three daughters of Dr MS Swaminathan, who is known as the father of green revolution in India.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The WHO is specialized agency of United Nations that acts as coordinating authority on international public health. It was established in April 1948 and succeeded Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters is located at Geneva. WHO flag features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing.


28 July: World Hepatitis Day

The World Hepatitis Day is being observed every year on July 28 around the world by World Health Organisation (WHO) to spread awareness about viral hepatitis. This year the theme of the Day is – “Eliminate Hepatitis”.

The observance of the day seeks to encourage diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Hepatitis. Provide a single global platform to raise awareness about hepatitis and influence real change in disease prevention, testing and treatment


Hepatitis is a viral infection which causes inflammation in the liver. It is a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. According to WHO, Hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.

About World Hepatitis Day

The day is being observed since 2010. It is one of the 8 official global public health campaigns marked by the WHO. It was established by resolution of WHO passed in in May 2010. The date 28 July was chosen to mark the birth anniversary of Professor Baruch Blumberg who had discovered hepatitis B virus. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1976) for this discovery.