India hosts global celebration of World Health Day 2005
7 April 2005 | New Delhi - Hosted by the Government of India, WHO's global commemoration of World Health Day 2005 took place in New Delhi on 7 April. The world health report 2005 - Make Every Mother and Child Count - launched on World Health Day, calls for a new approach to save the lives of mothers and children.
Chairing the event were WHO Director-General Dr. LEE Jong-wook and the Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss. "More than six million children can be saved if they have simple healthcare and thousands of women could be saved if they had access to skilled care,” said Dr Lee. Emphasizing the fact that the health of mothers was the foundation of any society, he added that WHO and its partners were not attempting the impossible. “The Millennium Development Goals for health are attainable; our message today is one of hope," he said.
Receiving a copy of the World Health Report 2005 from Dr. Lee, Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said that the Indian Government would launch the National Rural Health Mission later in the month. "I thank you for choosing India to release your report, which will contribute to increasing public consciousness in this vital issue and also promote such far more innovative strategies to meet the challenges of our times in the field of health," said the Prime Minister.
Also in attendance at the World Health Day celebration in New Delhi was Executive Director of UNICEF, Ms. Carol Bellamy, who said, "We all look to the World Health Organization to provide the latest technical information and advice, which is key to our cooperative efforts to improve the survival rates and well-being of women and children. This Report is an important step in making that knowledge readily available to decision-makers, as well as to the medical and public health community."
Following the World Health Day ceremony, health officials, medical professionals, and advocates from around the world attended "Lives in the Balance: The Partnership Meeting on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health", a three-day forum hosted by the Government of India and three international partnerships: the Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health, the Healthy Newborn Partnership and the Child Survival Partnership.
Health ministers and officials from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda were joined by representatives of international agencies, development partners and civil society groups. At the close of the meeting, participants presented a statement of commitment to maternal, newborn, and child health, called the Delhi Declaration, to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of India’s National Advisory Council.
Calling health "a vital dimension of social justice", Mrs. Gandhi said, "The Delhi Declaration sets the stage for decisive action." She concluded: "We resolve to work together for the noble cause of saving our sisters’ lives and our children."