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India: SAARC health ministers pledge to eradicate polio from the region

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SAARC health ministers have pledged to eradicate Polio from then region. The fifth meeting of SAARC health Ministers was held in New Delhi on Wednesday which was chaired by Health Minister J P Nadda.

The ministers also expressed commitment to make region HIV AIDS free by the year 2030. Other issues like prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and strengthening collaboration among the nations were also discussed during the meeting.

SAARC countries comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka account for nearly a quarter of the world population.

Later, the Health Ministers of SAARC nations called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Ministers apprised the Prime Minister of the deliberations during their meeting, including their intent to make the entire SAARC region polio-free.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for collection and sharing of best practices and vision in the fields of modern medical science and healthcare. He also suggested a joint visit of places of research being done at grassroots level in this regard, in SAARC countries.

The Ministers mentioned that changing the lives of the people of the SAARC region required a focus on health and education sectors, with a multi-sectoral approach. They praised the Prime Minister's initiative towards the adoption of June 21 as International Yoga Day by the United Nations. They said Yoga could be an effective means of preventive healthcare.