New Delhi: “Whatever is being done in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has an immense impact on health. There has been a perceptible and measurable improvement in the health indicators in the country,” noted the Union Health Minister Dr.Harsh Vardhan during his discussion at the launch of NDTV and Dettol Banega Swasth India Campaign. Dr. Vardhan further added that there has been a noticeable change in the attitude of the people which has helped the government construct 10 crore toilets across the country and declare about 5 lakh and 60,000 villages to become Open Defection Free (ODF).
Very soon, we will declare that the entire country has become open defecation free, he added.
Dr. Vardhan appreciated the thrust and public awareness around the issues related to health and hygiene and acknowledged the sanitation coverage of the country which has gone up from 35 percent to 98 percent in the last five years.
Looking at the progress, I, as a health minister, am the happiest man in the country, he said.
Here are four more things the Health Minister noted at the Banega Swasth India Campaign launch.
1. On Sanitation coverage and its impact on health
Thanks to the increase in the sanitation coverage in the country, there has been an overall reduction in the cases of diarrhoea, early deaths, and communicable and infectious diseases, commonly effecting people, Dr. Vardhan said.
2. On Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis and other communicable diseases
Combatting, Hepatitis B and Tuberculosis and other non-communicable diseases are very high on the agenda of the government. We want to eradicate Tuberclosis by 2025 from India, even though international goal is to eliminate it by 2030, he said.
For Tuberculosis we have ensured that primary and sub centres have the mechanism to diagnose early and differentiate if it’s routine or drug resistant Tuberculosis. For every Tuberculosis patient in the country – even if the patient is diagnosed in the private sector, the government provides a 100 percent diagnoses and treatment facility, including the medicines. Same goes for Hepatitis B, there’s a great network in the country for blood donation and awareness on the causes of Hepatitis B.
3. On Diabetes and Health and Wellness Centres
For diabetes, hypertension and other such non communicable diseases, the Aayushman Bharat program has one component – the creation of health and wellness centre all over the country. We plan to create 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness centres by end of 2022. We already have managed to created 20,000 such centres and by March 2020 we will have another 20,000. The basic strength and aim of all these centres is to enable prevention and promotive health, so that we can diagnose all the diseases at an early stage.
4. On Government’s agenda of Swasth India and awareness on health
Government is very passionate about a Swasth India and using every possible way including technology and the network of 10 lakh Asha workers, Anganwadi worklers and health workers at the grassroots level. We want to ensure a 100 percent health coverage of the citizens – treatment, prevention and education on health using the technology and tools available today.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan lastly congratulated NDTV, and Amitabh Bachchan for spearheading a movement like Banega Swasth India to help the government achieve their vision of a healthy India.