PM Modi calls on G20 nations to open innovations for public good, says we must be ready to prevent next health emergency

Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the G20 nations to facilitate “equitable availability” of technology and “open innovations” for public good.

Addressing the G20 Health Ministers’ meet in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar via video link, he also said the global community must be ready to prevent and respond to the next health emergency.

India will eradicate tuberculosis (TB) well before the global deadline, he informed the audience.

“Global initiatives on global health will bring together various digital health initiatives on a common platform. Let’s open our innovations for public good. Let us avoid duplication of funding. Let us facilitate equitable availability of technology,” the prime minister said.

Emphasizing the role of digital solutions and innovations in making healthcare accessible to all, Modi said they are a useful means to make our efforts equitable and inclusive as patients from far and wide can receive quality care through tele-medicine.

“Let us facilitate equitable availability of technology. This initiative will allow countries in the global south to close the gap in healthcare delivery. It will take us one step closer to our goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC),” he added.

He said this initiative will allow countries in the Global South to close the gap in healthcare delivery and will take us one step closer to our goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage.

India will eradicate tuberculosis (TB) well before the global deadline with the help of people’s participation, the prime minister said.

Highlighting the importance of public participation as a key factor in the success of health initiatives, the PM said it was one of the main reasons for the success of India’s leprosy eradication campaign. The country’s ambitious programme on TB elimination also encourages public participation, he added.

“We have called upon the people of the country to be Ni-kshay Mitra or Friends for Eradication of TB. Under this, nearly 1 million patients have been adopted by citizens. Now we are on our way to achieve TB elimination well ahead of the global target of 2030,” Modi said.

Calling resilience one of the biggest lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic, the prime minister said global health systems should be resilient.

“We must be ready to prevent, prepare, and respond to the next health emergency. This is especially important in today’s interconnected world. As we saw during the pandemic, health issues in one part of the world can affect all other parts of the world in a very short time,” said Modi.

Mahatma Gandhi considered health to be such an important issue that he wrote a book titled ‘Key to Health’ on the subject, the prime minister said.

The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us that health should be at the center of our decisions and also showed us the value of international cooperation, whether in medicine and vaccine deliveries or in bringing people back home, he said.

The PM informed the audience that under the Vaccine Maitri initiative during the pandemic, India delivered 300 million vaccine doses to more than 100 countries, including many in the Global South.

“In India, we are following a holistic and inclusive approach. We are expanding health infrastructure, promoting traditional systems of medicine, and providing affordable healthcare to all. We believe that holistic health and wellness can help enhance everyone’s resilience.” he said.

Linking the environment with human health, PM Modi said clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient nutrition, and secure shelter are major factors of health. He congratulated the dignitaries for the steps they have taken towards the launch of the Climate and Health Initiative.

He expressed happiness that the G20 Health Working Group has prioritized ‘One Health’ which envisages good health for the entire ecosystem — for humans, animals, plants, and the environment.

The prime minister said India’s COWIN platform successfully facilitated the largest vaccination drive in human history. It managed the delivery of more than two billion vaccine doses, and real-time availability of globally verifiable vaccination certificates, Modi added.