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India says GIDH will democratize digital health technologies in Global South

Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare virtually addressed the public launch event of the World Health Organization’s Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH). The GIDH is a WHO managed network which was unanimously adopted by all G20 countries, invited countries and international organizations and collectively launched as a key deliverable of India’s G20 Presidency during the Health Ministers’ Meeting in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 19 August, 2023.

Addressing the session, Dr Mandaviya said, “Our collaboration with the WHO on the GIDH is a testament of our shared commitment towards transforming the digital health ecosystem. Under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration of the G20 Summit also welcomed the establishment of GIDH within the framework of the WHO.”

Dr Mandaviya said that “the GIDH will allow the democratization of digital health technologies in national digital health transformation particularly the Global South. The success of the GIDH also requires strong regional cooperation.” He also urged the WHO-SEARO (Southeast Asia Region) Director to implement the GIDH in the region.

The Union Health Minister highlighted “India’s ground-breaking digital health transformations, particularly through the flagship Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission which promotes healthcare digitization and creates an interoperable digital ecosystem”.

Reiterating India’s unwavering support to the GIDH for its implementation, advancement and sustainability, he urged all member countries to join hands to strengthen the global digital health framework. He said this will empower countries in their journey towards ensuring universal health coverage.

The Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) was launched by the WHO and the Government of India during the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in Gandhinagar, India on 19 August 2023. As a WHO Managed Network (“Network of Networks”), GIDH aims to consolidate and amplify recent and past gains in global digital health while strengthening mutual accountability, and serving as a vehicle for implementing the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020 – 2025, while enhancing the impact of future investments. GIDH is expected to do so by acting as a knowledge hub and neutral broker to align resources and efforts towards establishing digital public infrastructure for health, a critical enabler for achievement of sustainable and evidence-based national digital health transformation.
MB Bureau

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