Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered a compelling speech today at the G20 Health Ministers Meeting held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The esteemed gathering included health ministers and officials from around the world, converging to discuss global health challenges, strategies, and collaborative efforts to ensure a healthier future for all.
In his address, Prime Minister Modi extended a warm welcome on behalf of the 1.4 billion people of India and expressed his gratitude for the presence of international delegates in his home state of Gujarat. He acknowledged the contributions of healthcare professionals, including the 2.1 million doctors, 3.5 million nurses, 1.3 million paramedics, and 1.6 million pharmacists, who play a pivotal role in the healthcare sector in India.
Drawing inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the intrinsic link between health and well-being. He referred to Gandhi’s book “Key to Health,” in which the Mahatma highlighted the significance of achieving harmony and balance between the mind and body to attain true health.
“Health is the very foundation of life in India,” Prime Minister Modi stated, quoting the Sanskrit adage, “Arogya Paramam Bhagyam, Swastyam Sarvarth Sadhanam” which translates to “Health is The Greatest Wealth.” He underscored the pivotal role of good health in enabling individuals to achieve their aspirations.
The COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Modi noted, has reiterated the imperative of placing health at the forefront of decision-making. He commended the power of international cooperation in facing the pandemic’s challenges, highlighting instances of sharing medicines, vaccines, and repatriating citizens, which demonstrated the effectiveness of collaborative efforts.
Prime Minister Modi also lauded India’s commitment to global health through the Vaccine Maitri initiative, having provided 300 million vaccine doses to over 100 countries, particularly in the global South. This effort exemplifies India’s dedication to equitable access to vaccines and healthcare resources.
Addressing the need for resilience, Prime Minister Modi stressed the importance of global health systems that are well-prepared to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future health emergencies. He emphasized the interconnectedness of health issues in today’s world, where a health crisis in one part of the globe can swiftly impact others.
Highlighting India’s approach to healthcare, Prime Minister Modi outlined the country’s efforts to expand health infrastructure, promote traditional medicine systems, and ensure affordable healthcare for all citizens. He cited the International Day of Yoga as a universal testament to the desire for holistic health and highlighted the significance of the International Year of Millets (Sri Anna) in 2023, which offers numerous health benefits.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the establishment of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, Gujarat, and underlined its potential to enhance holistic health and wellness. The forthcoming WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine, coinciding with the G20 health ministers’ meeting, is expected to intensify collaborative endeavors in this field.
Recognizing the interconnectedness of health and the environment, Prime Minister Modi praised steps taken towards launching the climate and health initiative, emphasizing the importance of cleaner air, safe drinking water, sufficient nutrition, and secure shelter in ensuring optimal health. He also commended efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance, a critical threat to global health.
He presented the idea of One Earth, One Health, promoting the well-being of the entire ecosystem, including humans, animals, and plants. This integrated perspective embodies Gandhi’s ethos of ‘Leaving No One Behind.’
In conclusion, Prime Minister Modi expressed his confidence in building a healthier future through collaborative efforts, emphasizing the shared responsibility of nations to ensure the well-being of their citizens and the global community.
The G20 Health Ministers Meeting serves as a platform for international cooperation and dialogue, paving the way for enhanced global health policies and actions. As leaders from around the world come together to address pressing health challenges, Shri Narendra Modi’s speech underscores India’s commitment to holistic health, international collaboration, and a resilient future for all.