Dr Nazneen is the first Bangladeshi woman to be awarded the post
For the first time ever, a Bangladeshi female health professional has been appointed as the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Maldives.
Dr Nazneen Anwar, a public health expert with more than 35 years of professional experience in the field of public health, was nominated as the WHO Representative to the Maldives on April 8, 2021. She is the first Bangladeshi woman to be awarded this post by the World Health Organization, said a media release on Tuesday.
Dr Nazneen Anwar presented her letter of credence to Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on April 18.
Apart from holding a master’s degree in public health and a certificate in public health research from Harvard University, Dr Nazneen Anwar has garnered professional hands-on experience in multiple fields, including mental health, health policy, planning, and capacity development, non-communicable diseases, nutrition, vaccine-preventable diseases, disability prevention, health research, and development. She has worked in different capacities for the WHO regional office for South-East Asia, WHO Country Office Bangladesh, and Bangladesh Ministry of Health.
Credited with mapping out detailed plans for the development and implementation of several innovative approaches aimed at strengthening mental health care systems, she has spearheaded various initiatives related to mental health and substance use policy.
Born to an aristocratic Muslim family in Chittagong, Nazneen Anwar’s late father Mahbub Alam Anwar was the founding president of the Agrabad Chamber, now the Foreign Investment Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI).
A mother of two sons and one daughter, Nazneen was a student of St Scholastica High School and Chittagong College, while her alma mater was Chittagong Medical College.