Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya has opened up about key Indian health priorities at the during his virtual address at the Health Ministers’ Session of the 2nd Voice of the Global South Summit, an event organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
India has identified three key health priorities: health emergencies prevention, preparedness, and response; strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector; and digital health innovations and solutions, which reflect a continued commitment to addressing the unique challenges faced by countries in the Global South, thereby infusing inclusivity in global health discussions and solutions, Dr. Mandaviya said during his virtual address at the Health Ministers’ Session of the 2nd Voice of the Global South Summit, an event organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
The minister noted the unprecedented challenges facing the countries of the Global South” and emphasised India’s “commitment to seeking reform of global governance structures to make them more responsive to contemporary realities and global challenges of the 21st century, especially the needs of the Global South.”
Underscoring the importance of the One Health concept, Dr. Mandaviya stated that “it is recognised as an effective approach to complex public health problems involving multiple disciplines, closely linking human health, animal health, and environmental health.”
Dr Mandaviya said that it is imperative to recognise that the majority of epidemics and pandemics threatening global health, from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to COVID-19, have roots in zoonotic origins.
“Committees of the International Health Regulations have consistently highlighted the inadequacy and fragmentation of efforts, leaving populations vulnerable to fend for themselves. It is also deeply concerning that the ongoing crises have exacerbated unequal access to healthcare and education. Hence, it is necessary to reverse learning loss, transform education, implement the One Health approach, enhance pandemic preparedness, and strengthen health systems”, he further stated.
Dr Mandaviya said that “the National Centre for Disease Control is at the forefront of significant One Health-related endeavours, implementing programmes grounded in One Health as a fundamental principle. India's One Health Programme diligently monitors and investigates emerging infectious diseases, particularly those originating from wildlife spaces, with a focus on fostering coordination among diverse groups for early detection and response.”
He also highlighted the launch of the National One Health Mission, which adopts an integrated approach to observe the interconnected aspects of humans, animals, and the environment to monitor and prevent diseases.
“This mission also facilitates coordination across various ministries and departments, aiming to achieve comprehensive pandemic preparedness and integrated disease control against priority diseases in both humans and animals,” he said.