Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for a sense of urgency in dealing with the new surge in Covid cases and to apply the lessons of the past waves of the pandemic.
In a recorded inaugural message for the 15th Global Health Summit organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), he said “We must consider it our Dharma and Kartavya to follow the Covid protocol at all times.”
Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and getting vaccinated were a must to secure everyone and the community, he said.
Parents of children in the newly eligible age group of 15 to 18 years should get their wards vaccinated at the earliest, he said.
Public-minded individuals, social advocacy groups, medical professionals and the government should reach people and make them shed their vaccine hesitancy, he said.
The Vice President praised the Indian origin medical professionals for “making their mark in every corner of the world” and being the “personification of our nation’s civilisational value of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.
Naidu observed that in the US in particular, the Indian origin physicians have gained a formidable reputation and that several of them occupy the top administrative positions in the country.
“They are among the most successful ambassadors of India’s value systems”, he added.
Noting that Indian firms have collaborated with US-based organisations to produce the recently approved vaccines — Corbevax and Covovax, the Vice President said “this experience clearly shows India-US collaboration in healthcare can reap great benefits not only for our countries but for the entire world”.
In his message, the Vice President expressed concern that while urban areas have technology in tertiary care that attract international patients, it is worrisome that rural areas are lagging behind with limited access to even primary care.
To bridge this, along with other measures, Naidu suggested seriously exploring the use of telehealth and other technological solutions
In this regard, he noted a welcome trend of many health-tech start-ups in India and suggested scaling up their healthcare services for rural areas, so that the geographical barriers may be overcome and out-of-pocket expenditures are rationalized.
He observed that Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, with a digitised record of the patient’s medical history, will boost these efforts.
Naidu lauded Telangana for excelling in the recently released Niti Aayog’s Fourth Edition of State Health Index. He complimented AAPI for its services in India in raising $5 million during the second wave of the pandemic, and for its ‘Adopt a Village’ programme.