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Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar addresses 16th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition

The conference programme focused on the latest issues in enteric infections, nutrition, policy, and Practice including a roadmap to end Cholera by 2030

Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar addressed the 16th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition (ASCODD) in Kolkata. Narayan Swarup Nigam, Health Secretary, West Bengal and Dr Atul Goel, Director General, DGHS were also present. Delegates from India and other South East Asian countries, African countries, the US, European countries joined the conference virtually. The theme of the ASCODD was “Prevention and control of cholera, typhoid and other enteric diseases in low and middle-income countries through community participation: beyond the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.”

Dr Pawar said, “Over the years, the ASCODD has expanded the discussions in many dimensions, not only on the epidemiology of cholera and typhoid but also on enteric vaccine initiatives, antimicrobial resistance, water, environmental and sanitation aspects, molecular diagnostics, food and nutrition etc.”

Dr Pawar highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many ongoing public health programmes globally for the last two and half years. She said, “Government of India has made sure that we provide affordable and quality health to all our citizens. We have taken various initiatives for the benefit of citizens with a special focus to reach out to the last person. The government has always stressed that as public representatives, it is our moral responsibility that the services should reach the needy. The needy must not run from pillar to post in search of services. Hon’ble Prime Minister has on multiple occasions mentioned that this is the time we overhaul the health infrastructure of the country to be future-ready. The way Indian Healthcare infrastructure is growing is commendable and the world will witness the changes it brings in the years to come.”

She further highlighted various initiatives under the Digital India initiative such as Online Registration System, eHospital for hospital management, eSanjeevani telemedicine app so that people could get treatment from the comfort of their homes.

She stated that following the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakamthe world has witnessed how India successfully ran a free vaccination programme for a population as vast as ours with record break vaccination of more than 219 crores. 

“Shouldering the responsibility for the world as well, we provided vaccinations to other nations so that we can win over the pandemic together. Effective use of safe and affordable vaccines, diagnostics and devices along with safe drinking water and maintaining healthy hygiene are important determinants affecting universal health coverage and sustainable development goals. Lessons learnt in the past indicated that strengthening health systems is mandatory for fighting communicable and non-communicable diseases,” she noted.

The conference programme focused on the latest issues in enteric infections, nutrition, policy, and Practice including a roadmap to end Cholera by 2030, Cholera vaccine development and rapid diagnostics, contemporary perspectives of antimicrobial resistance of enteric bacteria: new Initiatives and challenges, enteric bacterial infections, including Shigella spp, epidemiology, burden, and vaccines against other viral infections, including Hepatitis, lessons learned about diarrhoea research during the COVID pandemic.

Anu Nagar, Joint Secretary, Department of Health Research, Prof (Dr.) Debasis Bhattacharyya, Director of Medical Education, West Bengal, Dr. Sidhhartha Niyogi, Director of Health Services, West Bengal, Dr Shanta Dutta, Director, ICMR- NICED, Dr Firdausi Qadri, President, ASCODD were also present in the conference. 



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