AF­TER PO­LIO, IN­DIA ACHIEVES 2 PUB­LIC HEALTH MILE­STONES

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In a land­mark achieve­ment, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) has cer­ti­fied In­dia as Ma­ter­nal & Neona­tal Te­tanus elim­i­nated and Yaws free coun­try. The achieve­ment has been brought to the coun­try un­der the lead­er­ship and able guid­ance of Union Min­is­ter for Health and Fam­ily Wel­fare JP Nadda.

In this re­gard, the UNICEF and WHOSEARO fe­lic­i­tated Union Health Min­is­ter JP Nadda by pre­sent­ing cer­tifi­cates for the same. In­dia was de­clared Neona­tal and Ma­ter­nal Te­tanus elim­i­nated coun­try in Au­gust 2015. Be­sides, it was also de­clared Yaws-free in May 2016. In­dia was de­clared yaws-free af­ter a team of WHO ex­perts had found in­ter­rup­tion of bac­te­rial dis­ease trans­mis­sion in the coun­try. In­dia is the first coun­try un­der the WHO ne­glected trop­i­cal dis­eases (NTD) roadmap 2012 to elim­i­nate Yaws.

Yaws is a chronic bac­te­rial in­fec­tion that af­fects the skin, car­ti­lages and bones. It is caused by the spiro­chete bac­terium Tre­ponema pal­lidum pertenue. It spreads by di­rect contact with the fluid from a le­sion of an in­fected per­son

Ma­ter­nal & Neona­tal Te­tanus elim­i­nated means that moth­ers and new­borns are free from te­tanus at the time of birth. It was an­nounced by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi af­ter in­au­gu­rat­ing the Call to Ac­tion Sum­mit in 2015 on re­duc­ing child and ma­ter­nal deaths across the world in New Delhi. In­dia was val­i­dated for MNTE in April 2015, much ahead of the global tar­get date of De­cem­ber 2015. It should be noted that this is the sec­ond mile­stone achieved by In­dia in

I can proudly say that In­dia has val­i­dated Ma­ter­nal and Neona­tal Te­tanus elim­i­na­tion in May 2015, well be­fore the global tar­get date of De­cem­ber 2015. Ma­ter­nal and Neona­tal Te­tanus Elim­i­na­tion & YAWS Free In­dia are mon­u­men­tal achieve­ments in the coun­try’s ef­forts to achieve uni­ver­sal health care and ad­dress health in­equities. pub­lic health sec­tor af­ter it was de­clared po­lio free coun­try in 2014.

Com­ment­ing on the re­mark­able achieve­ment, the Union Health Min­is­ter said, “Proud mo­ment for In­dia to have achieved these two mo­men­tous pub­lic health mile­stones. Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of po­lio erad­i­ca­tion pro­gramme, these achieve­ments re­flect the ded­i­ca­tion of the coun­try to­wards achieve­ment of health eq­uity and uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age.”

Hailing the ef­forts of health work­ers and other stake­hold­ers, Nadda said, “This has been pos­si­ble due to the com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion of the lakhs of health work­ers, var­i­ous stake­hold­ers and con­certed ef­forts of plan­ners and pol­icy mak­ers.” Con­grat­u­lat­ing all of them for this sin­gu­lar hon­our that coun­try has achieved in a short span of time, the min­is­ter said that this ac­com­plish­ment is sig­nif­i­cant as In­dia has achieved this im­por­tant mile­stone of be­ing Yaws-free much be­fore the WHO global tar­get year of 2020.

The Union Health Min­is­ter fur­ther stated that In­dia has shown the world that there is no such thing as im­pos­si­ble. “These are likely the great­est lessons, and the great­est in­spi­ra­tions for the rest of the world,” Nadda said, while ap­peal­ing health work­ers to sus­tain this achieve­ment of MNTE by strength­en­ing health sys­tem; high rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion cov­er­age and pro­mo­tion of in­sti­tu­tional/clean de­liv­ery/clean cord prac­tices and ef­fec­tive sur­veil­lance sys­tem.

The gains in keep­ing In­dia free from pre­ventable deaths con­tin­ues with in­tro­duc­tion of newer vac­cines such as Ro­tavirus vac­cine, IPV, Adult JE and soon-tobe in­tro­duced Measles-rubella in the pub­lic health pro­gramme of the coun­try, the Health Min­is­ter added.

Present on oc­ca­sion, Min­is­ter of State for Health and Fam­ily Wel­fare Anupriya Pa­tel said that this is a huge pub­lic health feat. “This has been pos­si­ble through con­tin­ued ef­forts of po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship and hard

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