New Delhi: With an aim of making the South Asian region polio-free, India has offered support to technical missions from SAARC nations, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
Health Minister J P Nadda said that health ministers of SAARC nations met here on April 8 and resolved to strengthen health cooperation among the countries including setting up of SAARC Supra National Reference Laboratory for TB and HIV/AIDS amongst others.
“Aim to make SAARC region polio-free. India offered support for technical missions from other SAARC countries for this purpose,” he said in a written reply while elaborating on the resolves taken by the health ministers during the meeting.
The Health Ministers also adopted “Delhi Declaration” on public health challenges’ which include recognizing the need to accelerate efforts with an aim of ending AIDS epidemic in the region by 2030.
The nations in the declaration also resolved to strengthen cooperation to promote availability and effective coverage of affordable vaccines including pentavalent vaccine and strengthen response to make the SAARC region polio-free.
Nadda said the health ministers also resolved to come together to negotiate better prices for TB drugs and diagnostics to make these more affordable and accessible while they agreed to set up expert group on vector-borne diseases and holding annual meetings on non-communicable diseases.
The SAARC countries also resolved to include mental health care into universal health care and promote access to medicines including through the use of flexibilities under TRIPS Agreement (World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights).
They also agreed to promote these in the bilateral and regional trade agreements in order to protect public health interest, Nadda said, adding that it was decided to pursue mutual cooperation among the professional bodies regulating medicine, nursing and allied health, on training needs of Human Resources. .
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