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Aiming for comprehensive health care for the most vulnerable

India has made significant progress in the health sector since its independence. Although with systematic investment in public health infrastructure, the overall health indicators have shown marked improvement, still millions are deprived of primary health services.

Health and care is one of the core Red Cross programme which aims to enable communities to reduce their vulnerability to disease and to care for people suffering from infectious diseases and prepare for and respond to public health crises. Since its inception in 1920, Indian Red Cross Society has been doing commendable work towards improving the lives of the vulnerable people. With over 12 million members & volunteers the society is providing humanitarian services throughout the country.

The main health activities of the IRCS are promotion of voluntary blood donation and collection of blood of transfusion, hospital services, maternity & child welfare, family welfare, community services, ambulance & nursing services, strengthening of the community based Red Cross volunteers' project, HIV/AIDS and water & sanitation.

The Indian Red Cross Society compliments the government initiatives by raising funds to tackle the public health challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, Polio, Avian Flu and other diseases through IRCS programmes.

The Society recognizes that investment in health, hygiene and sanitation education are the critical components in welfare of rural communities as they remain under served population where the vicious circle of poverty, malnutrition and poor health reinforce each other.

The need of the hour is to adopt a comprehensive approach which encompasses individual health care, public health, sanitation, safe & potable drinking water, access to food and knowledge about hygiene and feeding practice.

The years' theme for World Health Day is 'Invest in health, build a safer future'. Global threats to health like SARS, Avian Flu, HIV/AIDS have once again shown how new form of diseases are emerging and posing great risk to the entire world. In order to supplement government in its efforts, the IRCS is committed to strengthen its preparedness capacity to respond to any public health emergencies in future.

By working together, we can make tremendous contribution in achieving the health based Millennium Development Goals.

Let us resolve on this World Health Day (7th April 2007) to enhance our activities to have comprehensive health care for all especially the vulnerable population of our country.
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