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Azad focus on health burdens of South East Asia

New Delhi, Tue, 06 Sep 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Sep 6(ANI): Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today inaugurated the 29th Health Ministers' Meeting and the 64th Regional Committee Session of the South East Asian Region of the World Health Organisation at Jaipur.


Addressing the event, Azad highlighted that south-east Asia is extremely significant on the world stage because of the population size, disease burdens and public health challenges.


"The region has almost one quarter of the world population and is witnessing rapid economic growth. Therefore, it is important that we continue to find solutions specific to problems affecting the health of our people" Azad said.


Azad further said that it is significant that the theme for this year's Health Minister's meeting is Anti Microbial Resistance.


"Besides many other factors affecting health, the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance is negating the achievements made in protecting human life and health from communicable diseases," Azad said.


The most important driver of antimicrobial resistance is irrational use of antimicrobial agents, he reiterated.


The Minister, however, lamented that despite technological advancements in the field of health there has been negligible development in the field of new anti microbial agents.


Lack of attention to this problem has the potential to become a critical impediment in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he cautioned.


Azad also said that in order to work towards the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, the region needs to institute effective measures to prevent, control and manage non-communicable diseases since they are now the main causes of mortality and disability at global and national levels.


"In countries like ours, they are the major cause of premature deaths, which strike the poor the hardest," he said.


He further stated that the Central government is fully committed to provide adequate resources for the health sector.


Azad recalled Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's quote in recent Independence Day speech wherein he announced that health sector would get due emphasis in the 12th plan.


The Minister informed that the Union Health Ministry is in the process of drafting recommendations for the 12th Plan and investment in the health sector will be substantially scaled up. (ANI)


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