Gandhinagar: The G20 Health Minister’s Meeting concluded on Saturday (August 18), with the adoption of an Outcome Document, as well as the launch of the Global Initiative of Digital Health. On the concluding session, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya highlighted that significance of sharing expertise, resources and strategies to address global health challenges effectively through such events. He said,
Let us continue working together, fostering collaborations, and leveraging the potential of digital health, research, and innovation to ensure equitable access to quality healthcare for all. We must continue to ensure multilateral cooperation and, nurture partnerships in the field of health. It is vital to share expertise, resources, and strategies, to address global health challenges effectively.
During his keynote address, Dr Mandaviya also released the World Bank’s Flagship Report on “Digital in Health – Unlocking Value for Everyone.”
India’s Digital Intiatives
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the event, Dr Mandaviya said,
During Covid, people from all over the world used to carry physical vaccination certificates with them, but Indian citizens used to download the Co-WIN app and show the digital certificate. This is India’s strength.
The Union Health Minister mentioned ‘E-sanjeevani’ platform and said,
Teleconsultation of more than 3 lakh people is happening daily under e-sanjeevani platform. People from far villages are getting the benefit of the service. They don’t have to go far for treatment.
E-sanjeevani is a digital service provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which provides easy access to doctors from any smartphone without going to the doctor.
Universal Immunization Programme
Dr Mandaviya also pressed further on the Universal Immunization programme and said,
We are working to create records and certificate. The platform and digital tools which are necessary are ready.
Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is a scheme under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that focuses on providing vaccinations to childrens to save them from life-threatening conditions. It is funded hundred per cent by the Central government.
Dr Mandaviya talked about Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID which enables citizens of India easy access to their health records.
People should have their digital health records with them. More than 40 crore people are covered under ABHA id. Whenever a patient visits any doctor, they should know the full history of the patient. It is very important, Dr Mandaviya said.
The Union Health Minister delivered his keynote address in the presence of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization (WHO). Bharati Pravin Pawar and S P Singh Baghel, Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare and V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.
Highlighting that the world today is witnessing an exponential rise in digital health solutions that are focused on vertical health programmes, Dr Mandaviya stated,
This siloed approach and fragmented digital solutions results in significant workload on health workers, inefficiencies due to duplication and lack of interoperability. India’s G20 presidency has leveraged its experience on developing a national digital health architecture through the convergence of digital health interventions aimed at health systems strengthening through interoperability by design.
Dr Mandaviya applauded the efforts and cooperation of G20 countries, invited countries, international organizations and other stakeholders for collectively recognising the need of a common framework to integrate all initiatives by consolidating efforts and investments made in the digital health space and creating a comprehensive digital health ecosystem through the ‘Global Initiative on Digital Health – a WHO Managed Network.’
India’s Status On Traditional Medicine
Dr Mandaviya emphasised that India has a specific focus on traditional medicine under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has established a separate ministry of AYUSH, which includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy. Speaking at the concluding session of the WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine on Friday, the Union Health Minister talked about the different types of traditional medicinal practices that are followed in member states, such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese medicine, and Herbal medicine.
Highlighted the benefits of traditional medicines during the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Mandaviya said,
During the COVID-19 crisis, traditional medicines had played a very important role through scientific and evidence-based medicines in terms of preventive, therapeutic and public health management.
(With inputs from ANI)
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