In a rare move, a Bangladeshi health professional has been appointed as the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Maldives, UNB reports.

Nazneen Anwar, a public health expert with more than 35 years of professional experience in the field of public health under her belt, was nominated as the WHO Representative to the Maldives on 8 April, 2021.

She is the first Bangladeshi woman to be awarded this post by WHO, said a media release on 4 May.


Nazneen Anwar presented her letter of credence to the foreign minister of the Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, on 18 April.

Apart from holding a Master's degree in public health and a certificate in public health research by the Harvard University, Nazneen Anwar has garnered more than 35 years of professional hands-on experience in multiple fields, including mental health, health policy, planning, and capacity development.

She has worked in different capacities for the WHO’s regional office for South-East Asia, and country office in Bangladesh. She also worked for the health ministry of Bangladesh.

Born in Chattogram, Nazneen Anwar is a mother of two sons and one daughter. She studied at St. Scholastica High School, Chittagong College, while her alma mater is Chittagong Medical College.

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