India talks about challenges and opportunities created by the pandemic at WHO-SEARO, Health News, ET HealthWorld

India’s strong and decisive leadership like surveillance at points of entry that slowed down the spread of COVID-19 and gave enough time for the country to build public health capacities and infrastructure to effectively manage the pandemic, informed Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar at the World Health Organization- South East Asia Regional Office (WHO-SEARO).

Dr Pawar,Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, representing India at the WHO-SEARO meet highlighted the key measures and strategies planned to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) and health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to strengthen health system resilience for the future. She further added that India’s inter-sectoral coordination, legal and policy provisions and technical support helped in the management of the pandemic.

She offered intervention on behalf of India at the Ministerial Roundtable for the 74th session of the WHO Regional Committee, for South-East Asia.

Mentioning the specific efforts taken during the pandemic Dr Pawar informed that country strengthened the core capacities in terms of laboratory, hospital infrastructure, R&D on diagnostics, vaccines, essential logistic with the development of indigenous capacities in terms of essential logistics including personal protective equipment, diagnostics, ventilators and vaccine manufacturing capacities. Similarly digital innovations like ICMR Testing Portal aided monitoring of trajectory of infection across the country; IT applications like “AarogyaSetu” supported contact tracing and Co-WIN monitored the mammoth vaccination efforts; tele-medicine and e-ICU were put to application to improve outreach to patients for both COVID and non-COVID essential health services.

Elucidating about vaccination strategy she mentioned that India is driving the largest mass vaccination campaign across the world: augmenting production of vaccines, prioritising vulnerable groups for vaccination, making efforts in procurement of vaccines from other countries, monitoring all vaccinated people for their second dose, as well as providing requisite digital vaccination certificates.

She further added that vaccine manufacturing was ramped up as grants were provided to vaccine manufacturers while Co-WIN digital platform supported transparent registration and tracking of every beneficiary for COVID-19 vaccination.

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