United Nations agency the World Health Organisation has appointed
former journalist Vaiju Naravane as its director of public
Naravane’s post is new and comes as recently-appointed WHO director
general Gro Harlem Brundtland restructures the organisation. Naravane
will report to the director general’s office and be responsible for the
organisation’s 20 media relations and public information staff in its
Media relations and public information were previously the
responsibility of health promotion, education and communication director
Ilona Kickbusch, who left in August. Her responsibilities have been
split between Naravane and a post which has yet to be filled.
Naravane joins the organisation from India’s leading English language
daily newspaper, Hindu, where she was the Paris-based correspondent for
southern and eastern Europe for three years. She was previously
correspondent for the Times of India and a freelance radio producer and
editorial writer for UN agency UNESCO for eight years.
WHO was created 50 years ago with a mandate to improve world health.
Since Brundtland took over as director general earlier this year, the
organisation has launched two initiatives: Roll Back Malaria, which will
fight malaria in Africa, and the worldwide Tobacco Free Initiative.