Union Health Secretary addresses Committee A of World Health Assembly

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Shri Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary addressed the Committee A of the World Health Assembly (WHA), in Geneva today. WHA comprises of sessions in three main committees, which are Plenary, Committee A and Committee B. Committee A will be chaired by India and facilitate discussion on various programmatic topics covering Universal Health Coverage, Public Health Emergency preparedness and response, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, sustainable financing for WHO etc.

The Union Health Secretary started his address by highlighting the alignment of the World Health Assembly’s theme this year – “All for Health, Health for All”, with the core values and the ethos of India, that is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means “the world is one family”. He said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, India not only managed the crises within the country but also supplied medicines and health related products across the world embodying the spirit of “One World, One family”. “This philosophy guides our efforts to promote well-being for all, facilitate Universal Healthcare Coverage and achieve health-related Sustainable Development Goals”, he stated.

Shri Apurva Chandra stated that the traditional public health approach of focusing on community interventions such as information and awareness as well as preventive measures hold the key to better health outcomes. He informed that India has established Health & Wellness Centres to not only address health issues at the community level but to also focus on educating communities towards better health seeking behaviour. “At this critical juncture, when all countries are working towards our collective Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring health services for all so that no one gets left behind, India has been taking the lead in advocating for digital health innovations as key to the critical transformative process required to help us achieve our goals”, he further stated.