The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Sri Ghulam Nabi Azad today held discussions with Mr. Goran Hagglund, Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Govt. of Sweden and his delegation in New Delhi. Shri Azad said “India has a lot to learn from Sweden in the field of Public Health. The midwifery model of maternal health, in which Sweden is a pioneer, has potential for replication in India”, he said. Sweden has succeeded in reducing maternal and infant mortality and now has the lowest MMR and IMR. The Minister also noted that Sweden is pioneering policies in the field of Anti Microbial Resistance and Elderly Care.
India has been supporting Swedish initiatives in the areas of maternal and child health, adolescent health, public health, alcohol policy, medical and pharmaceutical products, public health research and infectious disease control and anti-microbial resistance. Shri Azad also mentioned that India has an ancient history of traditional medicine as Ayurvedic medicines are widely known to be efficacious in addressing chronic conditions and offer a package of preventive interventions. He suggested tie-ups between leading Swedish and Indian health Institutions in this field. For the XIIth Plan, the Minister said India is eager to learn from Sweden’s Policy for Health, particularly to ensure Universal Health Coverage at affordable prices so that the population has equal access to health care services.
A MoU between the two countries was signed in February 2009 thus completing three successful years whereby new areas of co-operation have been identified. In a short span of three years, four joint Working Group Meeting have been held. The last one was held in Sweden in May 2011 which agreed on bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including mental health, elderly care, health and climate change. A letter of Intent was then also signed between NCDC and its Swedish counterpart.