NEW DELHI: India’s Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that India is observing the month of September as "Poshan Month."
He was speaking in a week-long meeting of WHO Regional Committee of South-East Asia, being attended by his counterparts and experts from member nations, to deliberate on public health issues and work towards elimination of diseases.
Dr. Vardhan further said that unsafe food and poor diet create a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick.
Citizens are being sensitized through a people's movement called 'Eat Right India'. "It's a tagline, Sahi Bhojan. Behtar Jeevan' – 'Right diet leads to better quality life' depicts India's commitment to preventive and promotive healthcare as an important pillar of our health policy, he mentioned.
He called for a 'mission-mode approach' for creating and spreading public health success stories from the region.
Dr Vardhan stated, “I look forward to a strong and continued collaboration with all respected member countries as we move forward towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals through universal health coverage."
At the meeting, the member countries will deliberate, among other issues, cervical cancer, strengthening of emergency preparedness capacities, eliminating measles and addressing the high burden of tuberculosis.
"The session provides a unique opportunity to identify innovative solutions to common problems that nations in this diverse region face," Nepal’s Health Minister Upendra Yadav said.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director WHO South-East Asia, said, "We need to look beyond our day-to-day concerns and the immediate horizon to identify emerging challenges and trends, and seek new opportunities to take forward our joint health agenda."