Vard­han off to US on first of­fi­cial tour; to meet US Health Secy

The Political and Business Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

UNION Health Min­is­ter Harsh Vard­han to­day left for the USA on a five-day visit dur­ing which he will hold talks with his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part and oth­ers to ex­plore the scope for col­lab­o­ra­tion on tele­health and pre­ven­tive health­care.

In what is his first of­fi­cial tour abroad since tak­ing charge as health min­is­ter on May 27, Vard­han will be meet­ing US Sec­re­tary of health and hu­man ser­vices Sylvia Mathews Bur­well to eval­u­ate the progress of the US-In­dia health ini­tia­tive, which was launched in 2010.

While in the US, Vard­han will also be hold­ing talks with of­fi­cials of USAID and UNICEF, agencies which have part­nered with In­dia in sev­eral health­care projects, on ways to rid the coun­try of AIDS and TB and dis­cuss means to widen Uni­ver­sal Health Cov­er­age, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial state­ment.

Vard­han had yes­ter­day called on Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to brief him about the in­ter­locu­tors and the agenda of his meet­ings with them, the re­lease said.

As part of the tour, he will also at­tend the an­nual 'Call to Ac­tion-A Prom­ise Re­newed', an In­dia-US-Ethiopia ini­tia­tive against child mor­tal­ity.

In all, health min­is­ters from 25 coun­tries will be at­tend­ing the meet­ing where Vard­han is to deliver the key­note ad­dress high­light­ing the global vi­sion for pre­ventable child and ma­ter­nal deaths, the state­ment added.

"We are on the thresh­old of ex­cit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties. I am look­ing for­ward to talks on col­lab­o­ra­tion on global health se­cu­rity, tele­health and pre­ven­tive health­care," Vard­han said.

On June 28 in San An­to­nio, Texas, Vard­han will deliver the key­note ad­dress at the 32nd an­nual con­ven­tion of the Amer­i­can as­so­ci­a­tion of physi­cians of In­dian ori­gin (AAPI), the largest fo­rum of eth­nic med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in the US with 138 lo­cal chap­ters.

A new web por­tal, 'Swastha In­dia', which is a joint ini­tia­tive of AAPI and In­dian govt, will be launched at the event.

"We are ex­plor­ing more av­enues for en­gag­ing AAPI in ar­eas like re­search, skill de­vel­op­ment and strength­en­ing health­care. The PM is al­ready en­gaged with AAPI and this high-level as­so­ci­a­tion will be pur­sued to achieve health out­comes on the ground," Vard­han said.—

A del­e­ga­tion of priests from from Bochasan­vasi Ak­shar Pu­rushot­tam Sanstha meet­ing Naren­dra Modi, in New Delhi — PTI

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