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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1

Message from His Excellency the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare

Date of Web Publication5-Apr-2012

Correspondence Address:
Ghulam Nabi Azad
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22628904

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How to cite this article:
Azad GN. Message from His Excellency the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Indian J Community Med 2011;36, Suppl S1:1

How to cite this URL:
Azad GN. Message from His Excellency the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 Jun 23];36, Suppl S1:1. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2011/36/5/1/94700

It is a pleasure for me to address the health community in this issue of the Indian Journal of Community Medicine on Noncommunicable Diseases and Universal Coverage.

The challenges India faces as a country are formidable, both in their number and in their complexity. Much has been written, for example, about the hard-to-overcome challenges in the field of mother and child health, including malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases. Despite our vast complexity, substantial investments in money and human resources are slowly improving the situation. Much the same can be said of water and sanitation issues.

Besides, it is becoming increasingly visible that millions of lives and billions of working hours that India needs are lost each year due to communicable and noncommunicable diseases. This newly discovered double burden is getting revealed as another key obstacle for National progress. The government wants to confront those challenges by providing the necessary means -hence the importance given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the issue of universal coverage.

A broad range of effective services need to be covered. Ways have to be found to ensure that those in need of personal and population health services will benefit from them. It is a matter of financial resources, true, but also a matter of organization and coordination. India has the knowledge; financial resources will most certainly be increased in the coming years.

Many single-topic programs (e.g. National Tobacco Control Program, National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVDs and Stroke, etc.) of today need to be scaled up and increasingly merged with other service provision structures, in order to improve their effectiveness. To the same end, a supply chain of available, quality generic drugs will be promoted in the country and their dispensation will be subject to better professional guidance. Human resources' competencies in the field of Prevention and Control of NCDs for doctors, nurses and national health managers will be upgraded, for which the collaboration of the Medical Council of India (MCI) will be requested. Solutions will be arranged for strengthening NCD surveillance and research activities will be fostered.

Improved coordination with other sectors is also vital for overcoming cardio-vascular disease, cancer, road traffic accidents and other such killers. Actions need to be implemented by many stakeholders, both public and private - e.g. Ministries of Human Resource Development, Finance, Commerce, Road Transport & Highways, Rural and Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation, Social Justice, Environment and Forest, Food and Civil Supplies etc. Something similar may be said of organized sector industries (promotion of healthy workplaces) and schools (emphasis on tobacco avoidance, healthy diet, regular physical activity, etc.). Civil society organizations also need to foster community empowerment and create NCD awareness.

I welcome the joint effort of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare together with WHO and its Collaborative Centres and National Institutes of Excellence and call upon everyone to put in their best efforts to achieve the objective of "Health for All". To make health care services more accessible, affordable and equitable, particularly for the poor and disadvantaged living in the remote regions of the country, the Centre and the States, the public and the private sectors, the urban and the rural, everybody's contribution is most needed.


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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007