Low health spend in S-E Asia worries Pranab

India got plaudits from WHO director general Margaret Chan for 30 polio-free months.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:September 11, 2013 12:09 am

President Pranab Mukherjee expressed concern on Tuesday at the low health spend of southeast Asian countries,where 46 per cent of people live below poverty line.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a meeting of health ministers from the region and the WHO regional committee.

“An ideal healthcare delivery system should be accessible to all. Considering the lack of access to affordable quality healthcare for a majority of the population in the region,the proposed universal health coverage seems a plausible solution. It is a matter of concern that the region registers the lowest expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP (3.8),” Mukherjee said.

India got plaudits from WHO director general Margaret Chan for 30 polio-free months,almost putting it on a list of countries that have eradicated polio. Later in the day,the meeting adopted ‘New Delhi Declaration on High Blood Pressure’ that accords priority to prevention and control of high blood pressure and pledges to work towards measurable reduction of hypertension in the region by 2025.

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