Pandemic policy must be defining part of India's health policy: Minister

New Delhi: The pandemic policy must be a defining part of our health policy as any health crisis today leads to an economic crisis due to the multisectoral nature of our inter-connected world, Minister Of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Wednesday.

In her address to the 1st Health Working Group meeting under G20 India presidency, Pawar noted that pandemic prevention, preparedness and response require diverse multi-sectoral, multi-agency coordinate efforts.

A health ministry statement said Pawar emphasized on the need for strengthening and empowering communities to become resilient to future health emergencies.

“COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic. The learnings must form the agenda for our preparedness and response together. We need to diversify our capabilities and ensure that collectively, we preserve ourselves in the face of any health crisis,” Pawar said.

She also underscored the importance of building resilient health systems and investing in lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, the statement said.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs S V Muraleedharan and Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, were also present on the occasion.

Highlighting India’s strong culture of medical practices and innovation, Muraleedharan noted that the prime minister’s clarion call for “One Earth, One Family, One Future” is pro-planet approach, one that is in harmony with nature for an increasingly globalized world.

He also emphasized upon the delegates the “need to align our agenda for preparedness and response together to be able to effectively meet any health emergencies”.

We should be prepared to collectively meet any health challenges in the future, he stated.

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