India voices concern over WHO’s excess mortality claim

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Mandaviya also exhorted India’s commitment to build a more resilient global health security architecture…reports Asian Lite News

In his address to the 75th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Monday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya raised concern over WHO’s recent claim of all-cause excess mortality.

“It is with a sense of dismay and concern that India notes WHO’s recent exercise on all-cause excess mortality where our country specific authentic data published by the statutory authority has not been taken into account,” said Mandaviya.

The Health Minister conveyed the collective disappointment of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare, a representative body of health ministers from all states of India, as they passed a unanimous resolution regarding the approach and methodology of WHO on excess mortality reports.

Mandaviya also exhorted India’s commitment to build a more resilient global health security architecture.

Underscoring the need to strengthen the WHO, Mandaviya said, “As highlighted by the Prime Minister of India, there is a need to build a resilient global supply chain to enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines, streamlining WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics and strengthen WHO to build a more resilient global health security architecture.”

As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts, he added.

“India believes that this year’s theme linking peace and health is timely and pertinent because there can be no sustainable development and universal health and wellbeing without peace,” Mandaviya said.

WHO honours Asha workers

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has honoured India’s more than one million Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) for connecting people with healthcare services.

ASHA, which means “hope” in Hindi, are among the six recipients of Global Health Leaders Award at the ongoing 75th World Health Assembly.

ASHAs are trained female volunteers who take healthcare services to rural, marginalised, and hard-to-reach communities across India. They provide maternal care and immunisation for children; community healthcare; treatment for hypertension and tuberculosis; and services for nutrition, sanitation, and healthy living.

ASHAs “play a critical role in India’s primary healthcare system, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing essential health services to millions of people. In Hindi, ASHA means hope. And that is exactly what the ASHAs deliver”, the WHO said in a statement.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that he is “delighted that the entire team of ASHA workers have been conferred the WHO Director General’s Global Health Leaders’ Award”.

“Congratulations to all ASHA workers. They are at the forefront of ensuring a healthy India. Their dedication and determination are admirable,” he added.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has also extended his greetings to all the ASHA workers.

“Congratulations to all the ASHA workers on being conferred the award. ASHA workers are at the forefront of healthcare delivery and played a key role in the country’s response to the prevention and management of Covid-19,” he tweeted.

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