The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the G20 Health Ministers’ Meet held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat via video message.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed dignitaries on behalf of 2.1 million doctors, 3.5 million nurses, 1.3 million paramedics, 1.6 million pharmacists and millions of others involved in the healthcare sector in India.
Referring to the father of the nation, the Prime Minister said Gandhiji considered health to be such an important issue that he wrote a book titled ‘Key to Health’ on the subject. He said that to be healthy is to have one’s mind and body in a state of harmony and balance, meaning that health is the very foundation of life.
The Prime Minister also recited a Sanskrit ‘shloka’ that meant: ‘Health is ultimate wealth and with good health every task can be accomplished’.
The Prime Minister underlined that the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that health should be at the center of our decisions. He said that time also showed us the value of international cooperation, whether in medicine and vaccine deliveries or in bringing our people back home.
Highlighting Government of India’s humanitarian initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccine to the world, the Prime Minister said under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India delivered 300 million vaccine doses to more than 100 countries, including many in the Global South.
Calling resilience one of the biggest lessons during the pandemic, the Prime Minister said Global Health Systems should be resilient. We must be ready to prevent, prepare, and respond to the next health emergency. This is especially important in today’s interconnected world. As we saw during the pandemic, health issues in one part of the world can affect all other parts of the world in a very short time.
“In India, we are following a holistic and inclusive approach,” the Prime Minister remarked. He said we are expanding health infrastructure, promoting traditional systems of medicine, and providing affordable healthcare to all. The global celebration of the International Day of Yoga is testament to the universal desire for holistic health. This year, 2023 is being marked as the International Year of Millets. Millets or ‘shri anna’ as they are known in India, have several health benefits.