New Delhi: To accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHS) and the goal of leaving no one behind, the member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region have committed to prioritising and strengthening primary healthcare services and signed the Delhi Declaration as a commitment. The declaration was signed on October 31, day two of the ongoing , Seventy-Sixth Regional Committee Session for WHO South-East Asia Region, WHO’s governing body meeting in the region.
Delhi Declaration signed on strengthening primary healthcare as a key element towards achieving #UniversalHealthCoverage
Investment in Primary Health Care (PHC) is the most inclusive,… pic.twitter.com/QDBGXu8uLa
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) October 31, 2023
What Is the Delhi Declaration?
The Declaration builds on the commitments of heads of state and government and Ministers of Health to strengthen primary health care as the most efficient and effective way to address evolving population health challenges in the Region. This is in line with the recent UN General Assembly Political Declaration on UHC and the G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration on primary health care.
Addressing the session, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, said,
Prioritising investments to strengthen primary health care, including the health workforce, will accelerate progress towards achieving health for all and help realise health-related sustainable development goals, health security, and promoting health systems.
Dr Singh said that in the last decade, there has been an improvement in the UHC service index in the South-East Asia region (from 47 in 2010 to 62 in 2021). However, progress stalled between 2019 and 2021 in most of the countries, primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To renew the progress, the Declaration calls for:
- Prioritising and optimising investment in primary healthcare.
- Improving supply and logistics management to provide adequate, quality, and affordable medical products at the primary healthcare level.
- Efficient use of available resources through strengthened systems of governance, monitoring, and accountability.
- Use of innovative technologies and data to enhance access and improve health service delivery
Dr Singh said that increasing community participation is also necessary for building a robust primary health care-oriented system.
We must increase community participation and ensure health care systems are designed around people with the flexibility to deploy available resources in the most efficient manner to meet the most pressing needs of the community.
The member countries also pledged to promote regional and national systems for collaboration and knowledge sharing to strengthen primary healthcare.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoilets are used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.