Eliminating malaria and tuberculosis (TB) were high on the radar of the government, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.
“We cannot eliminate or eradicate several diseases but malaria and TB are high on our priority list,” he said while interacting with the media on the sidelines of the inauguration of a vaccine manufacturing facility at Manjri on Monday.
“We are actively working to make India free of malaria. We have made serious efforts to work towards a dengue vaccine,” he said.
While talking about the government providing a level playing field for vaccine makers, Dr Harsh Vardhan said they had raised concerns over regulatory hurdles.
“However, the government is keen and passionate about doing ease of business and we will positively look at the proposals for policy changes,” he said.
Responding to a query on the challenges that the government faced on health issues in Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Harsh Vardhan said they were actively working to deliver facilities, including those that were health-related, so that the people of J&K soon realise that Article 370 had unnecessarily been imposed upon them. Towards tackling corruption in the department, Dr Harsh Vardhan said they had taken proactive measures and moved swiftly towards digitisation and transparency in the system. He also appealed to residents to inform on corrupt practices so that swift action could be taken.
He said despite a robust immunisation programme, 20 per cent mothers were unaware or faced systemic issues that prevented them from getting their children vaccinated. The Indradhanush programme had ensured an increase in vaccination coverage but there was still a long way to go, he said.
He also added that they had a robust surveillance system and were prepared for any infectious disease epidemics such as Ebola.
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