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NEW DELHI : India looks forward to support Africa in closing the vaccine gap and also offers to support in augmenting research and development capability of African countries on medical countermeasures, said the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos at Congress Centre on Wednesday.

Mandaviya was speaking at the sessions-- ‘Unlocking the Power of Digital Health’ and ‘Closing the Vaccines Gap’ at the international forum.

“India would like to further support and strengthen our ongoing relationship with Africa. India offers to support in augmenting research and development capability of African countries on medical countermeasures. India would also like to extend its support to Africa in taking the journey from vaccine availability till vaccination with focus on implementation based on India’s experience of vaccination 96 % of its population with 1st dose and 86% with both doses," said Mandaviya qucikly adding that India also provided our CO-WIN platform to the world as a global public good.

“CoWIN platform monitors name-based vaccination and has monitored administration of more than 1.92 billion vaccination doses, including beneficiary registration, AEFI monitoring and a QR code based digital digital certificate. India has promoted digital health agenda at global level as Chair in global digital health partnership. It was India which had moved the Digital Health Resolution in WHO to prioritise the global framework for digital health. We have offered Co-WIN as a digital public good to other countries to aid their vaccination efforts," he said.

Digital health is a great equalizer and enabler to support Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals and can help ensure accessibility and affordability of health service delivery.

India has successfully screened more than 80 million citizens for diabetes, hypertension and cancers through digital means, in turn creating a population profile of India.

Meanwhile, telemedicine platform e-Sanjeevani has benefited more than 390 million beneficiaries through video consultations during COVID-19 pandemic, making it the biggest such platform in the world.

“India is creating a national framework for digital health in India. Under Ayushman Bharat (Long Live India) Digital Mission, India has embarked on digital transformation of healthcare in India. The focus is on creation of a longitudinal electronic health record for more than 1.3 billion people of India. We have already issued more than 220 million Unique Health IDs along with health facilities and provider registry. India has already utilised digital health interventions for its national program management," he said.

“Reproductive & Child Healthcare IT platform tracks more than 120 million pregnant women for their check-ups, delivery planning and over 90 million children for immunization. Health Management Information system regularly collates data regarding health programmes from more than 200,000 health facilities," said the minister.

With digital health interventions is growing in India, the central government aims to take the medical services to the last mile ensuring equitable healthcare service delivery.

“With technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing, 5G, nanotech, we need to create a tech supported healthcare service delivery which is resilient, reliable, and accessible till the last mile," said the minister.

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