The South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organization, established in 1948, was the first of its six regions. Thus, 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of both the Organization as well as the Region. Over these five decades, the collaborative efforts of WHO have focused on improving the health of the people in the Region. These efforts have led to some remarkable achievements like the eradication of smallpox, improvement in life-expectancy and reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates.
Also, the Region is well on its way to eradicating polio and guinea-worm disease as well as eliminating leprosy. Diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, however, and the formidable challenges posed by HIV/AIDS have added a new dimension to the health scenario of the Region. This publication takes a close look at the highlights of WHO’s collaborative efforts in the Region over the past five decades through glimpses of the past, presented in rare photographs, one can vividly see health history in the making. Commemorating 50 years of service towards better health of the people of the South-East Asia Region, the publication should prove useful to those interested in health development. The publication is an eloquent testimony to the Organization’s very close and deep-rooted involvement with the health of the people of the South-East Asia Region.