Dhaka: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Tuesday stressed upon turning health issues into a social and community movement, saying that the "power of belief" has gone a long way in taking on health challenges.
"My mantra for success is to find a way to convert health issues into a social and community movement. It is the power of community participation and partnership that can empower us to achieve what we seek to achieve. It can bring an end to preventable deaths, including child and maternal deaths," Harsh Vardhan said during the opening session of the 67th general meeting of the WHO regional committee here.
He said India's triumph over polio was an illustration of the "power of belief".
"In the mid-1990s, while conceiving the pulse polio mission, we had to encounter comments that it was an impossible thing to achieve, given the ground conditions in India. But eventually, the collective will triumphed," he said.
The health minister said the power of belief has also given India a new hope, new energy, new enthusiasm and new vision to take on even greater health challenges.
He pledged India's unequivocal support to the Dhaka declaration on vector-borne diseases to be adopted at the four-day event attended by health ministers of 11 countries.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the event.
Bangladesh's Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, WHO director-general Margaret Chan, and WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh were also present.