The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday expressed sadness over the death of Dr Halfdan Mahler, its Director-General, between 1973 and 1988, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93.
The world health body said in a statement that Mahler would be missed for his contributions toward the development of primary healthcare services.
“WHO is saddened by the death of Dr Halfdan T. Mahler as the WHO’s third Director-General.
“Mahler will be remembered as a champion for primary healthcare.
“He played a key leadership role shaping the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration that defined the Health for All by the Year 2000 strategy.
“Under his leadership, WHO and UNICEF jointly produced the report “Alternative Approaches to Meeting Basic Health Needs in Developing Countries’’, which examined the success of primary healthcare in various countries,” it said.
The body said that Mahler began his career at WHO in 1951 as senior officer for the National Tuberculosis Programme in India.
Mahler also served the organisation as the Chief, Tuberculosis Unit in Geneva; Director, Project Systems Analysis and as the Assistant Director-General.
After his retirement from WHO in 1988, Mahler directed the International Planned Parenthood Federation until 1995.