World Health Day: India, global community forged partnership to respond to COVID, says Vardhan

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New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) From public risk communication to ensuring provision of non-COVID essential health services, and speedy access to vaccines, India and the global community have shown that effective partnerships along with a purposive focus on reaching the most disadvantaged help remove access barriers, Health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.

On the occasion of World Health Day, Vardhan, while addressing the WHO South East Asia Regional Office, said India's response to COVID-19 and its leadership role in enhancing global cooperation during these unprecedented times is an example of this approach.

“We have worked with the international community to respond to this pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines being made in India are being shared with over 80 countries through our vaccine maitri initiative, a key step towards addressing inequities in vaccine distribution across the world,” he said.

On India's ancient philosophy of 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam' which exalts the entire world as one family, Vardhan said India has always believed in it and “our actions reflect the same”.

“As the world increasingly embraces this philosophy, it will expedite our progress towards a fairer and healthier world. We should not let go to waste the lessons learnt from COVID-19 that have resulted in far reaching changes in health policies,” he said.

Vardhan said from effective public risk communication to ensuring provision of non-COVID essential health services, to speedy access to vaccines, India and the global community have shown that effective partnerships along with a purposive focus on reaching the most disadvantaged help remove access barriers, taking us closer to universal health coverage.

“On the occasion of the World Health Day 2021, I would like to reaffirm on behalf of the government of India, our commitment to ensure all people and communities have access to quality healthcare services, where and when they are required, without suffering financial hardship and move towards building a fairer, healthier world,” he said. PTI UZM RHL