New Delhi: With Ebola and Polio affecting may parts of the world, US President Barack Obama tonight pitched for finding ways to detect and treat these pandemics early so that their spread can be contained.
Obama, who wound up his three-day visit here, said he had discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi how a better job could be done to deal with the pandemics.
"The public health infrastructure around the world needs to be improved," the US president said in a joint radio address with Modi in the special episode of 'Mann Ki Baat' programme.
"The Prime Minister (Modi) and I have discussed for example, how we can do a better job in dealing with issues like pandemic and making sure that we have good alert systems so that if a disease like Ebola, or a deadly flu virus, or Polio appears, it is detected quickly and then treated quickly so that it doesn't spread," he added.
He patted the back of Modi for "doing a great job in focusing on these issues" in India.
"India has a lot to teach many other countries who may not be advancing as rapidly in improving this public health sector," he said, adding "...We think that there is a lot of progress to be made here and I am very excited about the possibilities of considering this work even after I leave office."
Ebola is an infectious and generally fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding and is spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola virus), whose normal host species is unknown.
The worst outbreak of the virus in history has seen nearly 9,000 deaths in a year -- mostly in three west African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and has sparked a major health scare worldwide.
He said health problems have a huge economic impact on the countries involved.
Obama was asked whether he, after the end of his Presidency, will work in the field of health care, particularly addressing the problems of diabetes and obesity, like Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.
To this, the US President said he was looking forward to partnering with organizations, and the government and non-governmental organizations here in India, around broader public health issues including the issue of obesity.
He said his wife Michelle has already done a lot on this issue.
Talking about obesity, he said, "This is an issue that we would like to work on internationally, including here in India. And it is a part of a broader set of issues around global health that we need to address."
"We're seeing a world-wide epidemic of obesity in many cases starting at a very young age. And a part of it has to do with increase in processed foods, not naturally prepared. Part of it is a lack of activity for too many children. And once they are on this path, it can lead to a life time of health challenges," the US President said.
"This is an issue that we would like to work on internationally, including here in India. And it is a part of a broader set of issues around global health that we need to address," he said.