Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu requires signified of urgent situation calling for prompt action amid Covid surge
Hyderabad: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday called for a sense of urgency in dealing with the new surge in Covid cases and to apply lessons of the past waves of the pandemic. “We must consider it our ‘dharma’ and ‘kartavya’ to follow the Covid protocols at all times – wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and getting vaccinated, and secure ourselves and our community”, he emphasised.
Noting the importance of measures to vaccinate 15-18 year age groups, Naidu urged parents of children to get their wards vaccinated at the earliest. He called upon public-minded individuals, social advocacy groups, medical professionals and the government to reach out to as many people as possible and get rid of any vaccine hesitancy that may be stopping the country in its collective fight against the pandemic.
In a recorded inaugural message for the 15th Global Health Summit organised by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the Vice-President praised 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, Indian origin physicians have gained a formidable reputation; several of them occupy 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 the US-based organisations to produce the recently approved vaccines, Corbevax and Covovax, he said “this experience clearly shows the India-US collaboration in healthcare can reap great benefits not only for our countries, but for the entire world.”
The V-P 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 reaching out better to rural and remote areas. “This will expand the utilisation of our limited manpower and health infrastructure to reach the last mile,” he said.
He noted a welcome trend of many health-tech start-ups in the country and suggested scaling up their healthcare services for rural areas, so that the geographical barriers may be overcome and out-of-pocket expenditures are rationalised. 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 expressed happiness that it is also in the top three States in the year-on-year incremental performance in health outcomes.
The V-P complimented AAPI for its services in India – for raising 5 million USD during the second wave of the pandemic, for its ‘Adopt a Village’ programme, among its other initiatives.