The 7th of April, each year marks the celebration of World Health Day to spread awareness around global health issues. The theme for this year is ‘ a fairer & healthier world’.
And India having extended selfless help across the globe in the time of an unprecedented crisis via vaccine maitri has effectively laid the foundations for ‘a fairer & healthier world’.
India has successfully pioneered in strengthening friendships by donating free vaccines to more than 84 countries so far, which include immediate neighbors and many low-lying countries, which were often neglected by the rest of the world.
Why is World Health Day celebrated?
Over the past 50 years, world health day has raised important health issues ranging from mental health, maternal & child care to climate change. The celebration goes on beyond a day to focus global attention on key health issues.
Health inequalities that exist in the world are not only unjust & unfair, but they hamper equitable access to the advances made to date. It has the potential to widen narrow equity gaps.
This year, under the theme ‘a fairer & healthier world’, WHO has reiterated the constitutional principle that “the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
India pioneering in health & medicine since ancient times:
In India, the principle of health equity has been intrinsically imbibed in our history and traditions, much before it was imbibed in our constitution. India had the gift of natural medicine since civilizations began and evidence of it can be found in ancient Indian texts of Rigveda, Sushruta Samhita, and Charak Samhita apart from Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. India has not only practiced but propagated the detailed Science and art of Ayurveda and Yoga through generations.
India has followed the principle of ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbhakam’ in sharing with the world our ancient yogic practices, Ayurveda, and traditional knowledge & wisdom. Sushruta has the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery, having performed even complex surgeries with the help of advanced self-designed hand tools.
India’s Action Plan to strengthen health infrastructure:
- Ayushman Bharat: Under the world’s largest free healthcare scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’, the Government provides a cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary & tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crores poor & vulnerable families.
- The Government has set a target to set up 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) by upgrading Sub-Health Centres (SHCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) by 2022, with the objective of strengthening healthcare infrastructure for delivering comprehensive primary healthcare, closer to the homes of the people, especially in rural India.
- Setting up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3382 block public health units in 11 States.
- Establishing critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions.
- Strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), its 5 regional branches & 20 metropolitan health surveillance units.
- National Digital Health Mission: It is launched by the govt with the aim to create a national digital health ecosystem that supports universal health coverage in an efficient, accessible, inclusive, and affordable manner via a hassle-free online platform that ensures security, confidentiality, and privacy of health-related personal information.
Vaccine Maitri: India strengthening friendship with vaccines; becoming the ‘world’s pharmacy’ during Covid-19