MANILA, Philippines The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific named long-time public health official Dr. Susan Mercado on Saturday as one of a number of candidates poised to lead the region in responding to problems pressing health problems in the next five years.
Mercado is a special adviser to the Department of Health. The Philippines and Guam have nominated her for the Western Pacific regional committee and she is competing against four candidates led by Dr. Tran Thi Giang Huong of Vietnam, current director of the Western Pacific division of WHO’s disease control program.
The other three contenders are Dr. Song Li from China, Dr. Jimmie Rodgers from the Solomon Islands and Dr. Saia Ma’u Puikala from Tonga.
This is the second time that Mercado has become a nominee for the same top WHO position. In 2018, he lost to Japan’s Dr. Takeshi Kasai, whose leadership was rocked by allegations of racist and abusive behavior that led to his ouster in March this year.
More than 20 years of experience
If elected in October, Mercado will be the first female WHO regional director for the Western Pacific.
She first gained fame as a young doctor on the popular television charity show, “Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko,” in the 1980s, but she also has more than 20 years of experience as a public health officer. She has served at WHO in various capacities from 2005 to 2017, as Assistant Secretary for Health from 1997 to 2001, and as PhilHealth Board Director from 2019 to 2020.
Mercado is also part of the University of the Philippines National Center for Telehealth, which has organized over a hundred webinars on the clinical management of COVID-19 during the pandemic.
The WHO urges the government to regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes
subscribe to ASK MORE to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 other titles, share up to 5 devices, listen to the news, download from 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or queries, Contact Us.