Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday launched a strategic roadmap for the WHO to work with the Indian government in improving the health of the country”s population and bringing in transformative changes in the healthcare sector.
The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 20192023: A Time of Transition” outlines how the global health body can support the health ministry and allied ministries to drive impact at the country-level, according to a World Health Organisation statement.
The CCS builds on other key strategic policy documents including India”s National Health Policy 2017, the many path-breaking initiatives India has introduced from Ayushman Bharat to its National Viral Hepatitis programme and promotion of digital health and others.
WHO”s support to the government will fall under four strategic priorities: accelerating progress on universal health coverage, promoting health and wellness, protecting the population against health emergencies, and enhancing India”s global leadership in health.
The period of this CCS is expected to bring rapid changes to India”s health sector and to improve access to quality healthcare, especially to the vulnerable and underserved population.
The CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ”triple billion” targets, the Sustainable Development Goals and WHO South-East Asia Region”s eight flagship priorities, the health ministry said in a statement.
It also captures the work of the UN Sustainable Development Framework for 20182022.
Vardhan said the CCS is going to be a “very important document” for India for next five years and has been developed through consultation with government ministries and other stakeholders.
“WHO has been working closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to further the health agenda,” he said.
He added that he looks forward to WHO”s support and collaboration in advancing India”s health-for-all goal.
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia Region, in her message said, “The strategic priorities outlined in the CCS reflect the region”s broader strategic focus. WHO will continue to support India achieve its objectives and pursue a trajectory to help sustain, accelerate and innovate measures that have produced dramatic advances in the health and well-being of its people.
“It will likewise continue to appreciate and commend India”s successes and their broader impact within the WHO South-East Asia Region and beyond.” Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan expressed confidence that the partnership with WHO will be very productive.