Poonam Khetrapal Singh
WHO Regional Director
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh is WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.
Mosquitoes are a pest with no equal. Though not all mosquitoes transmit life-threatening diseases, those that do kill approximately 725,000 people worldwide every year. When not fatal, the diseases mosquitoes spread can result in bouts of debilitating fever, nausea and vomiting, compromising immune systems and disrupting economies. The WHO South-East Asia Region is particularly affected.
From the foothills of Nepal's snow-capped Himalayas to the beaches of the Timor Sea, the population of Southeast Asia is ageing. Roughly 142 million people -- 8% of the region -- are currently over the age of 60, with estimates suggesting the proportion will rise to over 20% by 2050.