India attends SAARC Health Ministers Virtual Meet

India participated in The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) health ministers conference hosted by Pakistan through video conferencing. This conference is held to promote great regional cooperation to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Director General of Health Services of India, Rajiv Garg was represented India in the conference. Rajiv Garg was assisted by experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The meeting comes over a month after India Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead to bring the SAARC leaders together through a video-conference.

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The virtual conference is that the occasion for India to reaffirm its strong commitment towards sharing of data, expertise and best practices within the joint fight against COVID-19 for the larger regional good.

Major Highlights in the conference

  • SAARC countries gives approval to enhance cooperation in the health sector, especially in the context of efforts to combat the coronavirus(COVID-19) at the regional level.
  • SAARC countries agreed to work together to adopt international best practices keeping in view the specific socio-economic circumstances of South Asia.
  • SAARC countries is discussed issues including real-time sharing of information and clinical data, capacity building among others.
  • India has created an electronic platform for all SAARC countries to exchange information on response mechanisms to deal with the pandemic.
  • The platform are going to be launched for exchange of specialised information and tools on COVID-19 among designated health professionals within the region.
  • The chairman of the conference Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Health Services and attended by SAARC Secretary-General: Esala Ruwan Weerakoon.
  • It listed fixing of the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund, creation of a fanatical website developed by SAARC Disaster Management Centre in Gandhinagar and promotion of a stand-alone network of health and trade officials for his or her interaction in real time among the visible practical steps to affect the pandemic at the regional level.

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What is SAARC?

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established after the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 8 December 1985. The Secretariat of the SAARC association was set up in Kathmandu on 17 January 1987. SAARC includes eight Member States:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Bhutan
  4. India
  5. Maldives
  6. Nepal
  7. Pakistan
  8. Sri Lanka.
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The objectives of the Association as outlined within the SAARC Charter are:

  • To market the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to enhance their quality of life.
  • To accelerate economic process , social progress and cultural development within the region and to supply all individuals the chance
  • To measure in dignity and to understand their full potentials.
  • To market and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia.
  • To contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of 1 another’s problems.
  • To market active collaboration and mutual assistance within the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.
  • To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries; to strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interests.
  • To cooperate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.

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