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Over 1.83 Billion Free Drug Availments through AB-HWC: Union Health Minister

Written by : Jayati Dubey

October 31, 2023

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In reference to the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) in India, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya highlighted that these centres have delivered an extensive range of primary healthcare services to individuals living in remote regions.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, recently revealed as of October 24, 2023, individuals have availed over 1,830 million times free drugs and over 873 million times diagnostic services. He further noted that, the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers (AB-HWCs) have recorded over 2,110 million footfalls. Moreover, 26 million wellness sessions have been conducted, engaging more than 306 million people.

He revealed this during his address at the 76th session of the WHO regional committee for Southeast Asia, where he was also selected as the chairperson of the committee unanimously.

He further noted that initiatives such as the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) and Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) have substantially strengthened the digital health framework and physical infrastructure, catalysing a revolutionary evolution of healthcare delivery in the nation.

"Our current focus on primary health centres through AB-HWC emulating a synergistic approach will result in immeasurably positive health outcomes and reductions in out-of-pocket expenditures and become a model for other countries engaged in health sector reforms," he added.

India's healthcare approach aligns with the vision of Universal Health Coverage, aiming to provide affordable healthcare to all and expand health infrastructure.

Dr Mandaviya acknowledged India's contribution of INR 239.5 Cr to facilitate the successful completion of the WHO SEARO Building project, highlighting its role as a hub for collaboration, research, knowledge exchange, and the development of innovative solutions among health professionals.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, joined the event virtually, emphasising the importance of the 76th Session of SEARO, which comes at a crucial global and regional moment.

He commended the Southeast Asia region's efforts to combat tuberculosis and expressed appreciation for Dr Mandaviya's leadership and commitment to 'Health for All.' Dr Tedros noted that seven of the eleven member countries in the Southeast Asia region have eliminated at least one of the neglected tropical diseases.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, director of WHO SEARO (Regional Office for South-East Asia), commended India's achievements in operationalising more than 150,000 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers.

India also received the 2022 UN Interagency Task Force and WHO Special Programme on PHC award for its hypertension control initiative, which has provided treatment to more than 4 million people.

The Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers have made significant strides in bringing quality healthcare services to the masses. With millions of people benefiting from free drugs, diagnostic services, and wellness sessions, the AB-HWCs are reshaping healthcare accessibility in India.

The comprehensive approach, complemented by digital health initiatives, intends to improve healthcare delivery but also reduce the financial burden on patients.


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