Pandemic dealt profound blow to SCO member states: Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday addressed a meeting of the ministers of health of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries through video-conference.

“The pandemic has shown that nobody is safe until all of us are safe. This has also highlighted the need for greater collaboration between the countries on various aspects of health. Therefore, it is desirable that we continue to exchange our experiences, learnings, best practices as well as innovations to strengthen our public health systems,” Harsh Vardhan said.

The Health Minister said that the pandemic has dealt a profound blow to the SCO member states on health and economic fronts, leading to an extraordinarily high cost of the economy and at the cost of precious human lives.

“One of the areas of strategic importance in Covid-19 disease mitigation is the safeguarding of the health interests of the global community, which is possible only with well-qualified, trained and motivated healthcare professionals supported by a robust policy framework.

“India believes that besides bilateral discussions on the issue, a multilateral approach, which would create an institutional framework for mobility of health workers, is the need of the hour. For example, India is currently collaborating with Japan and discussing with the UK and other countries from the EU regarding a nursing service exchange programme,” Harsh Vardhan said.

“India has started the ‘Institute for One Health of International Standard’, which may be leveraged to have a ‘One Health International Hub’ in India, which will address the existing or potential risks which originate through the interface of animal-human systems.

“We need to conquer the adversary with collaborations and by supplementing each other’s capacities, by pooling our resources and through enhanced technical support,” he stated.

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