India pledges $200,000 for health emergency fund

India will contribute $2,00,000 towards the implementation of the preparedness stream under the South-East Asia Health Emergency Response Fund (SEARHEF), said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday. He made the announcement during the ministerial round-table on emergency preparedness on the second day of the ‘72nd Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) regional committee for South-East Asia’.

Dr. Vardhan also highlighted Cyclone Fani as a case study in early preparedness and disaster management and said that accurate weather forecast, effective early warnings, preparation for timely evacuation of nearly 1.15 million people to 6,575 cyclone shelters and other risk mitigation measures helped save many lives.

“Special monitoring was mounted for early detection and control of vector-borne and waterborne diseases. There had been no outbreak of epidemic-prone disease following cyclone Fani,” Dr. Vardhan said.

The Health Minister also informed that in the recent past, the government of India has provided timely medical supplies to 13 countries requiring humanitarian assistance spread over South East Asia, Asia Pacific and Africa worth 10 million US dollars. “We continue to extend medical assistance to six countries this year with medical supplies worth $5 million,”

The Health Ministers of the South-East Asia Region of WHO also signed the Delhi Declaration on Emergency Preparedness.

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