Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar gave a speech today at the 16th Asian Conference on Diarrheal Disease and Nutrition (ASCODD) in Kolkata. Additionally present were Dr. Atul Goel, Director General of the DGHS, and Shri Narayan Swarup Nigam, West Bengal’s Health Secretary. Participants from India and other South East Asian, African, American, and European nations participated virtually in the conference. The conference’s theme was “Beyond the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: Prevention and control of cholera, typhoid, and other enteric illnesses in low and middle income countries through community participation.”
“Over the years, the ASCODD has expanded the discussions in many dimensions, not only on the epidemiology of cholera and typhoid, but also on enteric vaccine initiatives, antimicrobial resistance, water, environmental, and sanitation aspects, and molecular diagnostics,” Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a statement congratulating the Director and team of the ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases for hosting the 16th Asian Conference on Diarrheal Disease.
Dr. Bharati Pawar emphasised the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on numerous ongoing public health initiatives around the world over the past two and a half years. She stated, “The Government of India has ensured that we deliver inexpensive and high-quality health to all of our citizens under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. With a particular focus on reaching out to the last individual, we have undertaken numerous initiatives for the benefit of citizens. The administration has consistently emphasised that it is our moral obligation as elected officials to ensure that the poor receive the services. The needy must not run from pillar to post in search of services. Hon’ble Prime Minister has on multiple occasions mentioned that this is the time we overhaul the health infrastructure of the country to be future ready. The way Indian Healthcare infrastructure is growing is commendable and the world will witness the changes it brings in the years to come.”
She went on to highlight further Digital India efforts, including the Online Registration System, eHospital for hospital management, and the eSanjeevani telemedicine app, which enables patients to get care from the convenience of their homes.
She stated that following the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakamthe world has witnessed how India successfully ran free vaccination program for a population as vast as ours with record break vaccination of more than 219 crores. “Shouldering the responsibility for the world as well, we provided vaccinations to other nations so that we can win over the pandemic together. Effective use of safe and affordable vaccines, diagnostics and devices along with the safe drinking water and maintaining healthy hygiene are important determinants affecting universal health coverage and sustainable development goals. Lessons learnt in the past indicated that strengthening health systems is mandatory for fighting communicable and non-communicable diseases”, she noted.
The conference programme focuses on the most recent issues in enteric infections, nutrition, policy, and practise, including a roadmap to end cholera by 2030, the development of a cholera vaccine, rapid diagnostics, contemporary perspectives of enteric bacterial antimicrobial resistance: new Initiatives and challenges, enteric bacterial infections, including Shigella spp., epidemiology, burden, and vaccines against other viral infections, including hepatitis, and lessons learned about diarrhoeal diseases.
Ms. Anu Nagar, Joint Secretary, Department of Health Research, Prof (Dr.) Debasis Bhattacharyya, Director of Medical Education, West Bengal, Dr. Sidhhartha Niyogi, Director of Health Services, West Bengal, Dr. Shanta Dutta, Director, ICMR- NICED, Dr. Firdausi Qadri, President, ASCODD were also present in the conference.