“Health must be included in the international diplomatic format”

Union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan said this during his meeting with the health ministers of other countries at the World Health Organization's multilateral meeting


For globalization of health, it is important to share ideas and innovation!

Returning from Dhaka, where he attended a multilateral meeting organised by WHO for the 11 health ministers from the Southeast Asia region, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "I have informally proposed that a regional meeting of foreign and health ministers under one roof be held as a first step, and WHO agreed in principle to build upon the idea and make it a reality. "No country, however rich and powerful, has the capability to marshal all the intellectual and physical resources that are necessary to fight the rising burden of communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. They want to reach out to give as well as receive cooperation. It is time to institutionalize this in the rubric of international diplomacy," said the health minister.

Given the scary global disease burden scenario, it is necessary to give health a permanent place in the format of international diplomacy. Countries need to both externalize and internalize health paradigms as, in the globalized world, there is no room for complacency.

He pointed out that this is the age of "regional strategies" and "global initiatives". For instance, the just-concluded Dhaka meet saw the adoption of a resolution titled "Regional strategy for strengthening the role of the health sector in civil registration and vital statistics". A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on traditional medicine was signed between India and Bangladesh and an existing MoU on cooperation against kala-azar involving India, Bangladesh, and Nepal was expanded to include Thailand and Bhutan.

"No country is an island. Globalization does not only mean the conversion of the world into a common market. It also means the freedom to exchange ideas and collaborate for achieving a human development goal," Dr Harsh Vardhan added.


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