PM Modi calls for international cooperation to achieve goal of Universal Health Coverage
Calling resilience one of the biggest lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Global Health Systems should be resilient.

"We must be ready to prevent, prepare, and respond to the next health emergency. This is especially important in today's interconnected world. As we saw during the pandemic, health issues in one part of the world can affect all other parts of the world in a very short time," he said in a video message to the G20 Health Ministers' meet on Friday (August 18, 2023).

Prime Minister Modi also called for international cooperation to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage. “Let us open our innovations for public good. Let us avoid duplication of funding. Let us facilitate equitable availability of technology,” the Prime Minister added. He said this initiative will allow countries in the Global South to close the gap in health-care delivery.

The Prime Minister also spoke about India's COWIN platform which successfully facilitated the largest vaccination drive in human history. He said it managed the delivery of more than 2.2 billion vaccine doses, and real-time availability of globally verifiable vaccination certificates. Global Initiative on Digital Health will bring together various digital health initiatives on a common platform Prime Minister Modi remarked.

Pointing out that India was following a holistic and inclusive approach, he said the country was expanding health infrastructure, promoting traditional systems of medicine, and providing affordable healthcare to all.

Prime Minister Modi said he believed that holistic health and wellness can help enhance everyone's resilience. The establishment of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, Gujarat is an important step in this direction, he noted. At the same time, the holding of the WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine along with G20 Health Ministers' meeting will intensify efforts to harness its potential, he explained.

Highlighting the importance of public participation as a key factor in the success of health initiatives, Prime Minister Modi said it was one of the main reasons for the success of India's leprosy eradication campaign. He added that the country's ambitious programme on TB elimination also encourages public participation. “Now, we are on our way to achieve TB elimination well ahead of the global target of 2030,” he asserted.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed dignitaries on behalf of 2.1 million doctors, 3.5 million nurses, 1.3 million paramedics, 1.6 million pharmacists and millions of others involved in the healthcare sector in India.