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A quarter of all global deaths of children under five are due to unhealthy or polluted environments including dirty water and air, second-hand smoke and a lack or adequate hygiene, the World Health Or...
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On the evening of 13 August 1865, at a mental asylum in Lazarettgasse in Vienna, Dr Ignaz Fülöp Semmelweis was pronounced dead. His body was brought back to his hometown of Pest (now Budapest) in Hungary and at his burial on the 15th of August, not a single member of his family was present. Semmelweis died as he had perhaps lived. Unloved and uncared for.
Every year, 2.7 crore children are born in India. This is the sum that we hope becomes the dividend of India's growth equation. This cohort, it is projected, adds to India's celebrated profile of having the world's largest youth population for the next two decades -- approximately 356 million 10-24-year-olds. Projections peg great hope on this statistic, anticipating it to be the major factor driving the plot of India's growth story. However, there are daunting challenges accompanying this demographic advantage, particularly when it comes to health.
At the outset, let me start by acknowledging your leadership on health issues. In the past year alone, India has committed to the India Newborn Action Plan (INAP), launched the Integrated Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (IAPPD), completed the first phase of the immunisation campaign Mission Indradhanush and announced the introduction of four new life-saving vaccines as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme ... India's quest for regional and global leadership in health has certainly begun. But we need more momentum.