President of India Inaugurates 66th session of the WHO Regional committee for South East Asia

New Delhi: The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 31st meeting of Ministers of Health and Sixty-sixth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia at Rashtrapati Bhavan today here on September 10, 2013.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that he was sure that the meeting of the Health Ministers of the Region followed by the session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia would map the way forward for the entire Region. He said that it is an urgent necessity to build a conducive environment to ensure the highest quality of health for the people of the Region. However, this needs a multi-dimensional approach on the part of the respective Governments.

The President said that an ideal healthcare delivery system should be accessible to all in the Region. It is important that the countries in the Region strengthen their health systems based on the primary health care approach – focusing on public health including prevention and promotion activities; using appropriate technologies; and based on domestic resources as far as possible. He said that strategic investments in medical education and training would be needed to enhance the availability of scientifically credible professionals for all communities. He stated that the existing inefficiencies in the supply chain and logistics management of drugs and vaccines should also be addressed on a priority basis. Strengthening of institutional mechanisms for community participation in oversight and governance of health at multiple levels – rural and urban – would also be crucial.

Dignitaries present on the occasion were Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, Health Minister, Indonesia, Ms. Santosh Chowdhary, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Dr. Margaret Chan, DG, WHO.

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