PM Wants Health System Ready for Next Emergency
DECCAN CHRONICLE | shashi bhushan
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the health system must be ready to prevent, prepare for and respond to the next health emergency. Addressing the G20 health ministers' meeting in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar via a video message, the Prime Minister urged G20 nations to facilitate equitable availability of technology and open innovations for public good.
The Prime Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that health should be at the centre of decisions, adding that it also showed the value of international cooperation, whether in medicine and vaccine deliveries or in bringing people back home.
Modi pointed out that under the "Vaccine Maitri" initiative, India delivered 300 million vaccine doses to more than 100 countries, including many in the Global South.
"Resilience has turned out to be one of the biggest learnings of this time. Global health systems should also be resilient. We must be ready to prevent, prepare and respond to the next health emergency. This is especially important in today's interconnected world. As we saw during the pandemic, health issues in one part of the world can affect all other parts of the world in a short time," Modi said.
Emphasising the role of digital solutions and innovations in making healthcare accessible to all, the Prime Minister said, "They are a useful means to make our efforts equitable and inclusive as patients from far and wide can receive quality care through telemedicine."
The Prime Minister praised India's national platform — e-Sanjeevani, saying that it has facilitated 140 million tele-health consultations till date.
The Prime Minister mentioned that India's CoWIN platform successfully facilitated the largest vaccination drive in human history and it managed the delivery of more than 2.2 billion vaccine doses and real-time availability of globally verifiable vaccination certificates.
He stated that the "Global Initiative on Digital Health" will bring together various digital health initiatives on a common platform.
The Prime Minister noted that this initiative will allow countries in the Global South to close the gap in health-care delivery and will take us one step closer to the goal of achieving "universal health coverage".
Underscoring that health and the environment are organically linked, the Prime Minister said that clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient nutrition and secure shelter are major factors in health.
Highlighting the importance of public participation as a key factor in the success of health initiatives, the Prime Minister said that it was one of the main reasons for the success of our leprosy eradication campaign.
"Our ambitious programme on TB elimination also encourages public participation. We have called upon the people of the country to become ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’ or ‘Friends for the Eradication of TB’ under which nearly 1 million patients have been adopted by citizens. Now, we are on our way to achieve TB elimination well ahead of the global target of 2030," the Prime Minister asserted.