New Delhi, Feb 25 (ANI): Expressing satisfaction over India completing one year without reporting a single new case of polio, Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said this had become possible because the coordination between the Central and State governments.
Addressing a polio summit here, Dr. Singh said: "The Central and the States Governments have worked in close partnership with many community base, national level and international organizations and groups including the Rotary International, the World Health Organization and UNICEF."
He also praised the work of NGOs and the 23 lakh volunteers, who had repeatedly vaccinated children across the country
"I venture to say that the real credit goes to the 23 lakh volunteers who repeatedly vaccinated children even in the most remote areas, often in very bad weather conditions. I commend each one of them for their dedication, for their commitment and for their selfless service," he said.
Emphasising that India's ultimate objective is and must be to achieve full immunization for all its children, Dr. Singh said: "We must ensure that every Indian child, rich or poor, whether living in Ladakh or in Delhi, has equal access to the best immunization. To this ambitious task, I commit our government.
"Universal access to safe vaccines, however, is only one of the many strategies for preventing and control of diseases and promoting good health among our children. We also need to provide them nutritious food, safe drinking water, proper sanitation and education," he added.
On a broader level, Dr. Singh said: "We need to accelerate our efforts to achieve our goal of providing universal access to health care at affordable cost for all our citizens. This needs first and foremost a determined effort to strengthen our public health systems."
"The National Rural Health Mission aims to develop the basic rural health infrastructure including through greater investments, community participation and optimisation of manpower and resources," he added.
Stating that as the country enters a demographic and epidemiological transition, Dr. Singh said: "We need to focus more attention on non communicable diseases and a wider range of infectious diseases. The task of prevention of trauma through prompt and effective emergency care has also acquired great urgency. About 10 percent of our mortality is now due to trauma which is claiming many young lives."
"The rising cost of health care is another key challenge. The impact of high medical costs places an unconscionable burden on the poor. We are, therefore focusing our attention towards social security of the poor with regard to their health care," he added.
Dr Singh further said that just as the polio campaign saw the Central and State Governments working closely with a common purpose, he is confident that the vision of universal health care will unite all of us in a concerted effort to preserve, to protect and promote the health of all our people. (ANI)
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