Batting for greater collaboration in health research among non-aligned group of countries, India today said the member nations should use their "collective bargaining" power for making new medicines and medical technologies available to all at affordable costs.
Addressing the Non-Aligned Movement Health Ministers' meeting, organised on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly here, Health Minister J P Nadda said NAM can be an advocacy platform to strongly support global health policies that aim at reducing health inequity among nations.
"NAM countries, representing more than half of the world's population, seem to be strategically placed to harness their 'collective' bargaining power to make new medicines and medical technologies available to the populations at affordable costs," he added.
He said in the present global health scenario the NAM can provide thought leadership on the issue of promoting health equity and reducing health inequity among nations as well as within nations.
"Regular sharing of best practices would greatly help our common cause, on cost-effective scalable interventions, especially targeting maternal and child health care and non-communicable diseases, which have been successfully implemented in many of NAM Member States," Nadda, the President of 68th World Health Assembly, said.
The Health Minister said that NAM should leverage as a group to take forward public health agenda of common interest and priorities in the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"We need to reiterate our unequivocal support to WHO as the lead global health agency and strengthen its capacities to make it better and stronger," the Minister added.
The Health Minister said that India has consistently worked for the advancement of the NAM agenda, objectives and principles and wants greater collaboration in health research among NAM countries.
He said, India's major focus now is on accelerating the pace of development of useful diagnostics, re-agents, therapeutics, and prevention methods for communicable diseases such as viral, bacterial, and parasitological diseases, and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
"Our long-term aim is to make these modalities available to populations in low- and middle-income countries at affordable costs," the Minister added.
The Health Minister also stressed on the importance of Yoga in providing holistic health and wellbeing. He also emphasized on adopting healthy lifestyles and avoiding excesses.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call in the UN General Assembly in September last year to recognise Yoga as a provider of holistic approach to health and well-being. We are happy to note that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, with co-sponsorship from 177 countries, to observe 21st June as the International day of Yoga," he said.