Chennai: World Health Organisation’s (WHO) representative in India Dr Nata Menabde lauded the efforts of the Tamil Nadu government in providing quality healthcare to all its citizens.
“Tamil Nadu is one of the top performing states by economic indicators, health indicators or by management and health system performance indicators. There are many things that TN has accomplished in terms of system improvements; so many things are possible to do,” Dr Nata Menabde said while inaugurating the National Consultation on “Improving Access; Promoting Innovation” in the context of universal health coverage at IIT-Madras Research Park on Thursday.
Pointing out that Tamil Nadu had a lower infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate in the country, the WHO official said that the state had several indicators, which were better than the national average and could be shown to other countries as model in the delivery of healthcare systems.
Dr Nata also raised her concerns over the fact that, even after several decades, the medical fraternity was still to come up with a vaccine for diseases like tuberculosis and Ebola, of which we have a most virulent recent outbreak in western Africa.
“You are also following the Ebola development — this disease with 90 per cent of mortality is spreading very fast and several people are affected in Africa. And yet we don’t have a vaccine and treatment, we only have some experimental treatments and that too in small numbers,” she lamented.
Turning her attention towards accessibility of medical facilities and medicines to the commoners, Dr Nata noted that there were about 2 billion people in the world, who live without any access to medicines, of whom 38 per cent of them live in India.
“India is a $26 billion pharmaceutical industry country and exports generics to 158 countries and has a 32 per cent market share in generic medicines in the world. This country has huge potential and can play a critical role, but still we have significant issues to be resolved,” she added.