Poonam Khetrapal Singh
Articles by Poonam Khetrapal Singh

Digital health tech is key to achieving health SDGs

The time to act is now. It is in our collective interest that digital health technologies are targeted to those countries and populations that are furthest behind.

The CoWIN platform enabled and smoothened the humongous task of vaccinating over one billion people against Covid-19. (Reuters)
Published on Mar 24, 2023 07:27 PM IST

Universal eye care is not just aspirational, it is an achievable goal

Globally, the economic cost of blindness and moderate to severe vision impairment, in 2020 was estimated to be $411 billion, the majority borne by low- and lower middle-income countries

Together, we must achieve rapid, equitable and sustained progress towards universal eye health coverage for everyone everywhere in our region. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 20, 2023 06:51 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

India’s G20 stint must push for health security

For health and humanity, India’s G20 presidency holds immense potential — potential that WHO will do all it can to support. As the theme of India’s G20 presidency observes, we are one family, with just one world and one future — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

The G20 can play an active role in advancing digital health, building on the tremendous innovations witnessed throughout the Covid-19 response. (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 16, 2023 08:21 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Act together, act now to end gender violence

For a South-East Asia Region in which the health and well-being of all women and girls is adequately protected, promoted and supported, we must act together and act now.

This year’s theme — UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls — provides a critical opportunity for each of us to reaffirm our commitment to end all forms of violence against all women and girls in all spaces by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 5. (AFP/Getty Images)
Updated on Dec 09, 2022 10:52 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Devise right strategies to contain monkeypox

With the right strategies, this multi-country outbreak can be stopped — globally, and in the region. Towards that goal, the WHO will continue to support all countries of the region, ensuring a response that is coordinated, and which actively combats stigma and protects the vulnerable

Monkeypox can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, which can be easily confused with symptoms of other illnesses, such as chickenpox, measles, and bacterial skin infections. (REUTERS)
Updated on Jul 31, 2022 08:18 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Yoga: A powerful tool to improve health

On the International Day of Yoga, WHO is privileged to celebrate the physical and mental health benefits of yoga and highlight its contributions to lifelong health and well-being, promoting healthier populations, and a healthier, more equitable and sustainable region and the world

Schools, workplaces, civil society organisations and communities should consider incorporating yoga into daily activities, supporting each country’s mission to achieve a 15% relative reduction in physical inactivity by 2030 — the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target. (AFP)
Updated on Jun 20, 2022 08:37 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

To develop equitably, address five priorities

The decisions we make now can either “lock in” development patterns that do permanent and escalating damage to the ecological systems, or they can promote a healthier, fairer, and greener world

While the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the inequitable and unsustainable nature of existing political, social and commercial decisions, it has shown that if decision-making is transparent, evidence-based and inclusive, people will support bold and far-reaching policies that protect their health, families and livelihoods. (PTI)
Updated on Apr 06, 2022 07:50 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Build back better to achieve universal health care

Strong PHC services that are publicly financed help mitigate the social and economic determinants of health and reduce out-of-pocket costs

Between 2001 and 2011, a quarter of all economic growth in low- and middle-income countries resulted from improvements in health, with an average return on investment in health of nine to one (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 13, 2021 08:21 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

WHO stands with a fairer, healthier, self-reliant, secure India for all

Increased investments in human resources for health will complement PMABHIM's focus and drive while at the same time promote additional social and economic benefits

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Union minister for health and family welfare Mansukh Mandaviya, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, and other dignitaries were also present (ANI)
Updated on Oct 27, 2021 12:53 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

The digital revolution in Indian health care

The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission aims to help achieve UHC in India by implementing the digital building blocks required for health care, and by making those blocks accessible as digital public goods for all

The digital tools that India has developed to respond to Covid-19 have had a significant impact. With the rollout of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, India is set to create the digital infrastructure to streamline information for other diseases (Shutterstock)
Updated on Oct 16, 2021 08:14 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Sustaining and scaling up the response to Covid is key to saving lives

Populations are exhausted. For almost 18 months, they have done everything they can to protect themselves and their loved ones. And, yet, we are still very much in the acute phase of this pandemic

A view inside the temporary Covid Care Centre set up at Shehnai Banquet Hall attached to LNJP hospital, in New Delhi, on Friday, May 28. (Sanjeev Verma/HT photo)
Updated on May 31, 2021 05:22 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

The equitable and efficient deployment of vaccines

Complacency must not set in. Although vaccine manufacturing has already started, reaching sufficient availability will take time. In a crisis such as this, there are no silver bullets

As and when vaccines are found to be safe and effective, countries will need to activate detailed plans to efficiently deploy the initial tranches of Covid-19 vaccines to cover up to 20% of the most vulnerable of their population, and to carry out coordinated and equitable deployments thereafter.(REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 21, 2020 07:42 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

A ‘new normal’ is in the offing. Ensure a balance| Analysis

Prioritise controlling the spread of Covid-19, strengthening health services, and supporting each other to stay healthy

Mobilise the full power of a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach(PTI)
Published on May 12, 2020 06:25 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

How India can eliminate measles, protect its children

A favourable policy environment to vaccinate children and older age groups will help the country fight the disease.

A health worker gives the measles and rubella vaccine to a student at a government school, Assam, September 4, 2018. The drive to eliminate the diseases has gathered momentum.(AFP Photo)
Published on Jul 28, 2019 06:03 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Ayushman Bharat reforms are timely and ambitious, but need effective implementation

The poor and vulnerable stand to benefit, and to do so significantly. Whether for a struggling farmer with an injury; a roadside fruit seller who has suffered a stroke; or a family whose child has life-threatening pneumonia, the PMJAY should increase the access and affordability of potentially life-saving hospital care. That is why PMJAY is a crucial part of the now well-known set of Ayushman Bharat reforms

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a health card to beneficiaries as he launches Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme(Parwaz Khan/ Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 02, 2018 12:58 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Efforts to enhance access to safe water, sanitation in India paying off

Thanks to a range of long-term initiatives that have been intensified, water and sanitation are now the seventh-largest cause of disease, accounting for around 5% of the country’s disease burden.

A girl collects drinking water from a tap in a village in Rajasthan.(AFP file photo)
Updated on Mar 24, 2018 07:56 AM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Plain packaging will lessen the use of tobacco

HT Image
Published on May 27, 2016 10:51 AM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Packaging laws for tobacco products can’t be restricted to rich nations

A law to ensure plain packaging of tobacco products will increase economic productivity and decrease medical costs.

In the WHO South-East Asia Region, nearly 1.3 million die every year due to tobacco usage. That’s 150 deaths per hour(AFP Photo)
Updated on May 26, 2016 09:08 PM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Ratification of WHO protocol a must to stop illicit tobacco trade

All member states need to speed up their process of ratifying or acceding to the protocol. Ratification of the protocol is necessary to respond to the financial, legal and health impacts of the illicit trade in tobacco products.

Updated on Jun 01, 2015 02:18 AM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh

Science alone cannot end HIV/AIDS

For an AIDS-free world, we need to blend the biomedical and social-behavioural interventions that ensure universal access to prevention and care of HIV in a health and social system that respects human rights, sexual diversity and gender equity.

HT Image
Updated on Nov 28, 2013 12:46 AM IST
ByPoonam Khetrapal Singh
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