The meeting was chaired by Ogtay Shiraliyev, Minister of Health, Republic of Azerbaijan
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare participated in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Health Ministers’ meeting through video conference, in New Delhi..
The meeting was chaired by Ogtay Shiraliyev, Minister of Health, Republic of Azerbaijan.
The NAM Summit is being organised at a time when the international community has been faced with a pandemic which has disrupted lives and livelihood of millions of people around the world. NAM expressed its concern at the global threat posed by COVID-19 and resolved to fight it with proper preparedness, prevention, resilience-building, and greater national, regional and international collaboration.
In his speech Dr Vardhan said, “I would like to begin by congratulating the Chair, the Minister of Health for the Republic of Azerbaijan for organizing this important and timely Conference. This is undoubtedly an unprecedented time in our planet’s history. COVID-19 has claimed more than 3,00,000 precious lives, infected over four million and snatched away the livelihoods of billions. Let me express my heartfelt condolences to those families across the world who have lost their near and dear ones to this deadly disease.”
He further mentioned, “COVID-19 has made us realise that we are more interconnected and interdependent than ever before. It has made us realise that the man-made challenges that our planet faces today – such as climate change and public health emergencies – can only be faced together, not when we are divided. It requires collaboration, not coercion.”
Dr Vardhan said, “The present pandemic crisis also reminds us that the global institutions of governance need to become more democratic, transparent and representative to be credible and effective, and a reformed multilateralism is the need of the hour.”
He added, “On its part, India has been fighting the COVID battle with a firm political will. Our Prime Minister has ensured speed, scale and determination in the handling of this crisis. India took every possible step to ensure that we contain the spread of the virus. We also ensured that focus on COVID should not mean neglect of patients of other diseases. Armed with a political will to ensure that we defeat this dreadful disease, 1.35 billion Indians came together to honour the decisions on nationwide lockdowns that have kept our mortality rate down and contained the spread of the disease. Our policy of micro Identification, mass Isolation and quick Treatment reaped good dividends in preventing large scale spread and deaths due to COVID-19.”
“Although India has a robust healthcare system, we swung into action and added capacity in terms of infrastructure as well as manpower. With a fleet of 10,000 dedicated COVID hospitals and Care Centers and a trained healthcare workforce of over two million, there was no looking back,” he mentioned.
Dr Vardhan added, “As we care for our citizens, we have also extended help to other countries. In our immediate neighborhood, we have promoted coordination to counter COVID-19 and organised capacity building by sharing India’s medical expertise.”
According to him, “India is living up to its reputation as the pharmacy of the world, especially for affordable medicines.” He said, “Besides meeting our domestic needs, we have provided medical supplies to over 123 partner countries, including 59 members of NAM. We are taking active part in the global efforts to develop remedies and vaccines.”
While summing up he mentioned, “It is our people that stand to be the most profoundly affected by these changes. We must all realise that our destinies are linked like never before. India looks forward to a collective journey, of constructive deliberations, cooperation and collaboration in the spirit of solidarity and fraternity that characterises NAM.”