First G20 Health Working Group meeting opens in Thiruvananthapuram

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Delving into history, External Affairs V. Muraleedharan pointed out that even before Independence, Kerala had a strong public health tradition…reports Asian Lite News

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Wednesday delivered the keynote address at the first G20 Health Working Group meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.

In his address, he said the G20 theme is based on universal brotherhood or ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

“It reminds us to see the world as a family in working towards a healthier tomorrow. It is in the interest of human kind that we should be prepared for any health emergency in the future,” said Muraleedharan. The Union Minister said that 3,000 years ago, a great poet of India, Kaniyan Poongundranar wrote in Tamil, “Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kaelir..”

“It means ‘we belong to all places, and everyone’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that adding this sense of belonging beyond borders was unique to India.”

Delving into history, he pointed out that even before Independence, Kerala had a strong public health tradition.

“In 1813, a vaccination department was established here in Thiruvananthapuram by the Travancore queen Rani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. It was against smallpox. As people showed signs of fear against vaccination, the queen set an example by getting all members of the royal family vaccinated first, to reassure her subjects,” added Muraleedharan.

‘Health is integral part of G20 agenda’

At the outset of the first Health Working Group meeting taking place in Kerala under India’s G20 Presidency, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar on Wednesday called health an integral part of G20 agenda and said that New Delhi’s chairmanship will aim to build on the efforts and proposals laid down by previous health working groups and G20 leaders.

The MoS also stated during her address that G20 countries have consistently worked to promote coordinated efforts among its members to achieve good and equitable health for all. “During the once-in-a-century crisis of the pandemic, G20 countries consistently worked for promoting coordinated efforts among its members to achieve good & equitable health for all. Health is an integral part of G20 agenda,” MoS Pawar said during the address at the first G20 Health Working Group meeting in Kerala on Wednesday.

She added further that health became an integral part of the G20 agenda with the establishment of the health working group under the German presidency in 2017 and G20 countries that exhibited commitment to mitigating health emergencies.

“Health became an integral part of the G20 agenda with the establishment of the health working group under the german presidency in 2017 and G20 countries have exhibited a long-standing commitment to mitigating health emergencies ever since the inception of the health working group in 2017,” she said.

We know now that pandemic prevention, preparedness and response require diverse, multistakeholder and multisectoral coordination under the leadership of PM Modi, the minister added.

Bharati Pravin Pawar also stated that India’s presidency will aim to build on previous health working groups’ and G20 leaders’ efforts and proposals, such as strengthening our healthcare systems and prioritising one health.

The first Health Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency is held from January 18-20 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

In a significant milestone, India assumed the presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2022. India is currently part of the G20 Troika comprising Indonesia, India and Brazil, marking the first time that the troika is consisting of three developing and emerging economies.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Health Track of the G20 India Presidency will comprise four Health Working Group (HWG) Meetings and one Health Ministerial Meeting (HMM). The meetings will be held in different locations across the country including Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Goa, Hyderabad (Telangana) and Gandhinagar (Gujarat), highlighting India’s rich and diverse cultures. (ANI)

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