“Har Ghar Dastak campaign to start soon in the poor performing districts to enthuse and motivate people towards full COVID vaccination”. This was stated today by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya during the national review meeting with Health Ministers of various States. Highlighting the need to accelerate the pace and coverage of vaccination, he stated that there are more than 10.34 crore people in the country who have not taken the second dose after the prescribed interval.
The Union Health Minister stated that adequate vaccine doses were available in the country, and more than 12 crore balance unulitised doses are available with the States for administering. “No district should be without full vaccination”, he exhorted the States. He further added- “Let us aim to cover all eligible with 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end-November 2021”.
The State Health Ministers were requested to ensure continuous oversight on progress of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. Dr Mandaviya urged the State/ to make regional and local level plans with all the stakeholders to reduce number of people with vaccination overdue. He also urged for innovative strategies to encourage them to achieve their targets to review the planning and execution of district-wise plans for coverage of due beneficiaries of 2nd dose as available on Co-WIN portal.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar was also present during the national review meeting. State Health Ministers Shri Alo Libang (Arunachal Pradesh), Shri Keshab Mahanta (Assam), Shri Mangal Pandey (Bihar), Shri T S Singhdeo (Chhattisgarh), Shri Satyendra Jain (Delhi) Shri Rushikesh Patel (Gujarat), Dr Narrotam Mishra (Home Minister Madhya Pradesh), Dr Mani Kumar Sharma (Sikkim), Shri M A Subramanian (Tamil Nadu), Shri Jai Pratap Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Shri Dhan Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), Dr Subhash Garg (Rajasthan), Shri Banna Gupta (Jharkhand) participated in the review meeting. State officials along with Mission Directors (NHM) from various states were also present.
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya highlighted the vision of the Prime Minister guiding the recently launched PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-BHIM). “COVID has given us the opportunity to analysis the gaps in our existing health infrastructure. We have also learned that in a federal democracy, the Centre and States working in a synchronized collaborative mode can achieve significant milestones”.
He informed that with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore, PM-AB HIM, announced in the Budget 2021-22, is the largest pan-India Health Infrastructure Scheme andwould provide a much-needed fillip to India’s capacity to address emergent Public Health issues. This will give a major boost to the India’s healthcare infrastructure and make it more resilient, he added. He urged the States to make strategies for timely utilization of the allocated funds under the new Mission. Dr Mandaviya also requested State Health Ministers to ensure that plans and implementation schedules for the ECRP-II are reviewed for timely completion of the proposed initiatives and schemes.
Speaking about India’s philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Dr. Mandaviya said that India’s pharma sector is fulfilling this philosophy by catering to people with new cost-effective treatments and vaccines. “India supplied essential drugs to the world during first wave of COVID. The world reciprocated and helped India during the second wave”, he stated. Praising the efforts of Indian scientists and researchers, he said that there is no dearth of brain and manpower in India. “India is rightly called ‘pharmacy of the world’ due to its quality drugs. It is a matter of immense pride for India that we have manufactured the COVID vaccine and also administered 100 Cr doses in a short span since 16th Jan 2021”, he stated.
The Union Health Minister further exhorted the State Health Ministers to ensure that the country’s goals for TB elimination, AIDS control and treatment, and other non-COVID schemes are kept in sharp focus.
Dr. Mandaviya assured the Health Ministers that the Centre will extend all support and assistance to the States/UTs in matters of health. “In a federal democracy, the Centre and States form a collaborative platform. We should work as a team for ensuring Swastha Bharat, Samruddh Bharat”, he said. The State Health Ministers heartily thanked the Union Health Minister for this interactive meeting which gave them the opportunity to discuss various issues at a personal level. As desired and assured by Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, an interactive group with State Health Ministers has been created on WhatsApp to facilitate real time interaction with the Union Health Minister.