"Government of Nepal's Candidate for Regional Director WHO SEARO."



Dr. Shambhu Acharya is internationally recognized as an inspiring global health leader dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people around the world. He has over 30 years of experience working across local, national, and multilateral public health systems and held leadership positions within the World Health Organization (WHO) at the country, regional and global levels.


News And Article About Acharya




Our Region is home to over one quarter of the world’s population and one quarter of the world’s potential health and well-being. Good health is critical for equity, productivity and happiness. But we can better harness these resources to enable countries to improve the health.

This will require establishing locally tailored priorities and addressing important challenges. Aligned with WHO’s global five ‘P’ priorities, I will anchor the South-East Asia Regional Office’s efforts in five key areas. I will do everything I can to ensure no member state or community is left behind.

“The health of the people of our Region – particularly those left furthest behind – must become an enormous source of pride.”


I envision myself leading the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office towards a future-ready state, effectively aiding countries in attaining their national health ambitions while aligning with the WHO triple billion goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.

As a leader, my role will involve advocating for and directing the transformation of Universal Health Coverage throughout the Region. This transformation will prioritize primary health care, uphold human rights, address gender disparities, revolve around the needs of individuals, be customized to local contexts, and be characterized by a strong emphasis on quality and equity. My aspiration is to shape a Region where health takes center stage across all sectors and policies, bringing about a comprehensive integration of health considerations.


Being an adept international health diplomat who is deeply devoted to promoting health equity and solidarity, my personal mission revolves around guaranteeing that every individual in the Region enjoys equal access to healthcare without any exclusions.

Through my extensive background as an organizational leader and a public health expert spanning thirty years, I've garnered experience working within rural communities and districts in Nepal, as well as on national, regional, and global scales. I am steadfast in my commitment to fostering inclusivity and fostering collaborative efforts. I firmly believe in celebrating the unique strengths of each member state while leveraging multilateral cooperation to bolster national ownership.

My personal mission can be summarized as follows: advocating for health in all corners of the globe by means of health promotion, provision, and protection. Additionally, I'm dedicated to driving innovation and performance to achieve these objectives.

View CV


"Over the course of my 30-year public health career, which began in rural Nepal and continues to the present day, I have acquired a range of expertise. As a globally recognized public health leader, I possess the following qualifications and skills required for the role of Regional Director as outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO)."

Technical Background

I possess a strong technical and public health background and extensive experience in global health. During my career as a public health practitioner, I have amassed a wealth of experience.

Organizational Management

I have more than 25 years of managerial experience with an unblemished and exemplary record as a manager, coordinator, & director. I have effectively promoted gender..

Public Health Leadership

I have served in high-level policy and strategy leadership positions at all levels of WHO, working directly alongside the Director-General and other senior leaders.

Cultural, Social, & Political Sensitivity

From my missions to more than 100 countries throughout my career, I have witnessed firsthand the complex, diverse needs, and challenges of everyday people.

Commitment to the Work of WHO

I understand and believe in the mission of WHO, evidenced through my extensive career at WHO at all 3 levels. I am determined to do everything in my position.

Good Physical Condition

I stay physically and mentally fit and active by running and hiking regularly, especially enjoying the mountainous regions and views of Switzerland.

Commitment WHO policy on smokers or other tobacco users

I have remained a non-smoker throughout my life &will continue to ban use of tobacco products in WHO offices & SE Asia Region.

Sufficient skill in the official working language of the Region

I am fluent in Nepali (mother tongue) and English, proficient in Hindi, and beginner in Bengali.

Our Health. Our Region. Our Pride

Key Priorities For The Region



I will be focusing on five key priorities for the WHO South-East Asia Region during my term:

  • Promote Health and Well-Being Approaches that Impact Population Health
  • Accelerate Universal Health Coverage with Strong, Inclusive Primary Health Care to Achieve Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals
  • Prepare for and Protect from Future Pandemics and Emergencies
  • Innovate and Digitize to Accelerate Health Equity and Solidarity
  • Champion “One WHO” to Enhance Country Support Across Three Levels

Promote Health and Well-Being Approaches that Impact Population Health :

I am dedicated to leading our countries towards a pivotal shift centered around health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and the concept of planetary health. This shift will be achieved by collaboratively addressing root causes across sectors, governmental sections, and societies, including through the facilitation of social movements.

I believe in the empowerment of individuals and communities to take local actions that enhance their health environments, while also advocating for policy interventions targeting the social, commercial, and environmental determinants of health.

Key Actions

  • Learn and share lessons on meaningful community engagement
  • Advocate for and provide tools for results-driven multi-sectoral responses
  • Make climate change, planetary health and decarbonizing the health system a priority
  • Support member states address the social, economic and commercial determinants of health

Accelerate Universal Health Coverage With Strong, Inclusive Primary Health Care To Achieve Health-related Sustainable Development Goals

My approach to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) involves a holistic outlook that prioritizes the comprehensive well-being of every individual. This entails addressing the fundamental causes of diseases and ensuring preparedness for outbreaks and emergencies.

My strategy involves mobilizing increased investments in health, nurturing and retaining a high-quality health workforce in the Region, and implementing a systematic approach to healthcare delivery rooted in primary care. This will be supported by a cascade of referral services to guarantee a seamless continuum of high-quality care for all individuals. Additionally, I am committed to fulfilling the promise of eliminating communicable and neglected tropical diseases, and to adapt our services to tackle shifts in the regional disease burden, including scaling up efforts to address noncommunicable diseases.

Key Actions

  • Mobilize increased investments for health
  • Expand, support and retain a high-quality health workforce in the Region
  • Create a systematic approach to health care delivery grounded in primary care with the support of a cascade of referral services to ensure a high-quality continuum of care for all people
  • Keep the promise of eliminating communicable and neglected tropical diseases
  • Pivot to address shifts in the regional disease burden—scale up services to address noncommunicable diseases

Prepare for and Protect from Future Pandemics and Emergencies

The critical juncture we find ourselves in demands swift action to regain momentum for a healthier South-East Asia Region. The enduring impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and well-being necessitate our recovery and a stronger rebuilding phase.

I plan to significantly enhance surveillance systems, enabling rapid action through well-defined targets. To strengthen our response capabilities, I aim to establish a Regional Rapid Health Response Team that can be deployed at the request of member states. Developing a Regional Blueprint for Comprehensive Responses to Novel Pathogens will be a crucial step, alongside intensifying the 'One Health' approach, addressing antimicrobial resistance, and effectively managing zoonotic diseases. Furthermore, we will launch 'Catch-up Action Plans' to recover lost ground and momentum on UHC and targeted disease elimination efforts.

Key Actions

  • Substantially enhance surveillance systems to mobilize rapid action through time bound targets
  • Establish a Regional Rapid Health Response Team for deployment at the request of member states
  • Develop a Regional Blueprint for Comprehensive Responses to Novel Pathogens
  • Strengthen the ‘One Health’ approach, address antimicrobial resistance and manage zoonotic diseases
  • Launch ‘Catch-up Action Plans’ to recover lost ground and momentum on UHC and specific disease elimination efforts

Innovate and Digitize to Accelerate Health Equity and Solidarity

The South-East Asian Region possesses remarkable potential due to its technological advancements, dynamic population, and substantial contributions to the global economy. I see a wealth of untapped innovation in the Region, particularly within the health sector. This includes scaling up policy, practices, and products.

My strategy includes delivering quality healthcare through innovation, propelling access to healthcare through technological leaps, harnessing digitization, program implementation science, and monitoring, and reinforcing our capacity in data generation and data-driven decision making. Additionally, I am committed to aligning our drug production, distribution, and storage standards with global norms.

Key Actions

  • Deliver quality health care though innovation
  • Leap frog access to health care
  • Harness digitization, programme implementation science and monitoring
  • Strengthen capacity on data generation and use of data in decision making and policy making
  • Align drug production, distribution and storage in the Region to global standards

Champion “One WHO” to Enhance Country Support Across Three Levels

With my extensive experience at all levels of WHO – country, regional, and global – I am uniquely positioned to lead the Regional office. I have been a strong proponent of decentralization at WHO, recognizing the strength of local decision-making. I firmly believe that implementation power must remain at the local level, where actions are taken. My commitment is to foster a devolved WHO, empowering local decision-making and ensuring support across all levels of the organization.

My plan involves ramping up regional leadership in global decision-making, facilitating knowledge brokering to showcase our Region’s potential, assets, and innovations as global public goods, establishing and leveraging a Regional Health Fund, ensuring sustainable and predictable financing for WHO country offices, and cultivating a strong, fair, and secure South-East Asia Region.

Key Actions

  • Ramp up Regional leadership in global decisionmaking
  • Undertake knowledge brokering and showcase the Region’s potential, assets, and innovation as global public goods
  • Establish and capitalize a Regional Health Fund
  • Ensure greater sustainability and predictability of finance for WHO country offices
  • Cultivate a strong, fair, and safe SEARO

Under My Leadership WHO SEA Will Try To Achieve


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