New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, while speaking at NDTV and Dettol’s 12-hour Swasthagraha today, explained how swachhta (cleanliness) and swastha (health) go hand in hand. The Swasthagraha has been initiated as part of the Banega Swasth India campaign to make India not just cleaner but also healthier. The campaign was launched this year after leading a very successful Swachhta (Cleanliness) Initiative for over five years to lend support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign.
“The Swachhta Abhiyan of the country is same as the health campaign,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan at the Swasthagraha today. “This is because if any programme or intervention is taking place on sanitation, the impact will lead to reduction in diseases, due to a reduction in germs.”
He spoke about how cleanliness will lead to better health, giving the example of diseases like dengue and malaria that can be reduced by cleaner surroundings.
Dr Vardhan also touched upon the issue of open defecation – central to the Swacch Bharat Mission – saying that over 12 crore toilets have been constructed in India.
NDTV and Dettol’s Banega Swasth India focusses on proper healthcare for new mothers and children to improve India’s health quotient. Healthcare for children was something that Dr Vardhan also addressed, saying that the universal immunisation programme implemented in the country provides all-important vaccination to all children free of cost, but about 20 per cent of children are not covered as parents don’t bring them to the centres to get the vaccination done.