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Elderly population to account for 20% by 2050: Health Minister

 

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, OCT 21, 2019: THE Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, attended the G20 Okayama Health Ministers’ Meeting on October 19-20, 2019, held under the Presidency of Japan in Okayama City, Japan.

The deliberations of the G 20 Health Ministers focused on four major global health issues, namely (i) Achievement of Universal Health Coverage (ii) Response to population aging (iii) Management of health risks and health security management including Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and its containment. Union Health Minister made specific interventions on all of them.

On "Response to Population Aging"Union Minister for Health and Family  Welfare, during his intervention,  shared  India’s vision for its  projected 20% elderly population by 2050. He conveyed to G20 countries the efforts done so far under National Programme for Health Care of Elderly to provide accessible, affordable, and high-quality long-term, comprehensive health care services to an ageing population.  In his intervention he also made a mention of public health measures to tackle Dementia.  He concluded his intervention by highlighting India’s commitment to ensure dignity with care for its elderly.

Deliberating on Health risk and health security, Union Health Minister made intervention on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), seen as a serious emerging threat to global public health.  He conveyed G20 Health Ministers that in a short span of time India has made commendable progress by implementing a national action plan, establishing a national antimicrobial resistance surveillance system, and its decision to contribute to global AMR R&D efforts.  While voicing his concern on AMR, he called upon all relevant UN agencies to align themselves in their endeavour to combat antimicrobial resistance.

During the Simulation Exercise on “Public Health Emergency during mass gathering” on 20th October, 2019, Union Health Minister shared two best practices (i) successful pulse polio campaign in Delhi in 1994 threatened by a major outbreak of Plague during the same period and (ii) the risk communication management to bring down the mass hysteria created by Social media during Nipah outbreak in  Kerala in 2018.

The G20 Health Ministers meeting concluded by adopting the "Okayama Declaration of the G 20 Health Ministers". The declaration, having 52 articles endorses the Commitment of G20 countries to address the major global health issues, as highlighted above and to pave the way towards an inclusive and sustainable world, as envisioned in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Further, G20 members have committed to continue this dialogue during the upcoming G20 presidency in Saudi Arabia.


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