Healthy living is a fundamental need for all humanity, and in our nation, which is home to 1.2 billion people; the public health challenges are many. In India, (1) Due to malnutrition, 46 per cent children below 3 are too small for their age and 47 per cent are underweight (2) Infant mortality rates is at 38 (per 1,000 live births) compared to that of 2 at Norway and Japan (3) Water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and respiratory infections are the number one cause for child death (4) Every 8 minutes one woman dies due to preventable pregnancy related causes (5) India has the highest number of blind persons in the world (6) The key to solving these challenges lies in providing universal access to healthcare, at a fair cost, with special attention to vulnerable group such as children, women, aged, and the disabled. Let us address the challenges here in this theme that will help (a) provide safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all (b) End preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age (c) Combat the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases (d) Reduce the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

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