City, now capital of communicable diseases, says Health Minister

Bengaluru has another sobriquet: Capital of communicable diseases, according to Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader.

Speaking at the inauguration of a consultative workshop on the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) in Karnataka held here on Wednesday, he stressed the optimal use of resources to check the diseases.

“We have adequate funds to tackle these communicable diseases. By making the best use of resources, Bengaluru can become one of the healthiest cities in the country,” he said. He promised the government would seriously consider the suggestions to improve people’s health.

“For the successful implementation of any government programme, the commitment and efficiency of officers, support of the representatives and involvement of the people are the key,” Khader said.

J V R Prasada Rao, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Aids in Asia and the Pacific, said the health problem of cities was a consequence of migration that had led to overcrowding, sanitation issues and burden of diseases. The NUHM goal should be to emphasise urban community healthcare, urban primary healthcare and empowerment of women, he added.

The Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, HealthMinds, Unicef and the International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru, had organised a day-long consultative workshop on health and healthcare issues in urban areas and drew pointers for NUHM interventions. The consultation brought together civil society professionals, policy planners, service providers and academicians.

Keshav Desiraju, former Health Secretary, Government of India, Atul Kumar Tiwari, Principal Secretary, Health, Government of Karnataka, Dr Jyotsna Jha, Director, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, Dr T K Srikanth, Professor, IIIT-B, Dr Chinmaya Chigateri, CEO, HealthMinds Consulting Pvt Ltd and Dr Umesh Chandra were among the attendees at the event.

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