Must be ready to prepare, respond to next health emergency: PM Modi at G-20 Health Ministers' meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi File

New Delhi, Aug 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the citizens to be ready to prevent, prepare and respond to the next health emergency.

In a video message at the G20 Health Ministers meeting being held in Gujarat's Gandhinagar, PM Modi said, "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 very short time."

The G20 Health Ministers’ meeting under India's G20 Presidency is being held in Gujarat's Gandhinagar from August 17-19. Notably, India assumed the presidency of the G20 on 1 December 2022.

While explaining the importance of holistic health, he said that the global celebration of the International Day of Yoga is a testament to the universal desire for holistic health.

He further noted that Gujarat is an important step in establishing the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Center for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar.

"The holding of the WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine, along with the G20 Health Ministers meeting, will intensify efforts to harness its potential. It should be our joint effort to build a global repository for traditional medicine," he added.

PM Modi further said that health and the environment are organically linked. He added that clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient nutrition, and secure shelter are major factors of health.

"The steps taken to address the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance are also commendable. AMR is a grave risk to global public health and all pharmaceutical advancements so far. I am also glad that the G20 Health Working Group has prioritized 'One Health'."

He emphasized that the vision of ''One Earth, One Health'' envisages good health for the entire ecosystem, including humans, animals, plants and the environment. "This integrated view carries Gandhiji's message of not leaving anyone behind," he said. Additionally, he stressed the digital solutions and technological innovations to make our efforts equitable and inclusive. Nowadays, people from far and wide can receive quality care through tele-medicine.

"India's national platform, e-Sanjeevani, has facilitated 140 million telehealth consultations to date. India's COWIN platform successfully facilitated the largest vaccination drive in human history. It managed the delivery of more than 2.4 billion vaccine doses and the real-time availability of globally verifiable vaccination certificates," he said.

Such global initiatives on digital health will bring together various digital health initiatives on a common platform.

"This initiative will allow countries in the Global South to close the gap in healthcare delivery. It will take us one step closer to our goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage," PM Modi added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will eradicate Tuberculosis (TB) before the global deadline of 2030 through people's participation.

"We have urged people of the country to be Ni-kshay Mitra or Friends for Eradication of TB. Under this, 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," Modi said in his virtual address to the G20 meet of health ministers in Gandhinagar.

He said that India aims to bring affordable healthcare to all as health is the very foundation of life.

“Health is the ultimate wealth. With good health, every task can be accomplished,” he said.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, health was the centre of all decision making, and the pandemic reminded all that health should be at the core of all decision making processes.

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